science and criminology. As the contributions to this volume show, the corpse is not always the end of the
story. On the contrary, as we shall see, a corpse still holds the power
to stir up more death.
The overall argument is that the brutal treatment of corpses
transgresses the spheres of national security politics and the simple spread of terror. Corpses are instead seen as a social force that
enchants politics and socialises religion. They make the past present
and foresee possible futures. Drawing on popular Catholic practices
What is it like to be a Muslim possessed by a jinn spirit? How do you find refuge
from madness and evil spirits in a place like Denmark? As elsewhere in
Europe and North America, Danish Muslims have become hypervisible through
intensive state monitoring, surveillance, and media coverage. Yet their religion
remains poorly understood and is frequently identified by politicians,
commentators, and even healthcare specialists as the underlying invisible cause
of ‘integration problems’. Over several years Christian Suhr followed
Muslim patients being treated in a Danish mosque and in a psychiatric hospital.
With this book and award-winning film he provides a unique account of the
invisible dynamics of possession and psychosis, and an analysis of how the
bodies and souls of Muslim patients are shaped by the conflicting demands of
Islam and the psychiatric institutions of European nation-states. The book
reveals how both psychiatric and Islamic healing work not only to produce relief
from pain, but also entail an ethical transformation of the patient and the
cultivation of religious and secular values through the experience of pain.
Creatively exploring the analytic possibilities provided by the use of a camera,
both text and film show how disruptive ritual techniques are used in healing to
destabilise individual perceptions and experiences of agency, so as to allow
patients to submit to the invisible powers of psychotropic medicine or God.
religious practitioners themselves. Often the problem has been phrased along the lines of E. E. Evans-Pritchard's famous study of witchcraft and magic among the Azande in central Africa. Since ‘[w]itches, as the Azande conceive them, clearly cannot exist’, the anthropological problem for Evans-Pritchard ( 1976 : 18) was how to account for a native reasoning within which otherwise obscure claims about witchcraft could be shown to make sense.
In his later years Evans-Pritchard (1965; 1970) refined his views on magic and religion as he became
those who died ‘bad’ deaths, for example through suicide or murder, are destined to wander aimlessly as ‘hungry ghosts’ or ‘beggar
spirits’ if they are forgotten by their descendants.24 If unappeased,
these spirits can wreak havoc upon the prospects of living relatives.
To counter this, rituals have to be performed to ease their way in the
underworld. In Malaysia, Buddhist rites, Taoist rituals, Confucian
teachings, and local pagan customs have melded into a unique
Chinese religion of sorts.25 Despite this, the conduct of funeral and
post-funeral rites continue
that of religion (Kühle 2006 : 38; Jacobsen 2007, 2008 ). Since the 1990s Danish politicians and opinion makers have increasingly claimed that Islam is in fact the real underlying obstacle to the integration of non-Western immigrants into Danish society (see Hervik 2011 ; Rytter 2018 ).
Is Islam the invisible cause of ‘integration problems’?
Walking around in the ‘ghetto’ of Gellerupparken, it is clearly visible that many of the inhabitants do not conform to the way religion in Denmark is usually laid out to be
Tracing relatedness and diversity in the Albanian–Montenegrin borderland
is not surprising
that the genealogies and conversations I recorded described migrations across the
old border to the Ottoman territory – as in the case of the Vukičević – and uses
them to legitimise the transformation of ethnic and religious identity in the region
up to the present day.
‘This was Turkey, you know’, my interlocutors kept on repeating, highlighting
that conversion cannot undo kinship relations. Marko Karadaglić explained his
view of the conversion of the Paljević as follows: ‘They accepted this new religion,
but they remained our relatives. Their
monopolised wartime attention, while other anthropologists documented how
shifting borders and border crossings had had unpredictable effects on inhabitants’
production of identity, affiliations and moral maps in ways that often unsettled
identity markers like religion, ethnicity and nationality and their political connotations (Ballinger 2003; Pelkmans 2006). As Pelkmans (2006: 73) notes for
neighbourhoods caught up in the reconfiguration of the Turkish–Soviet border,
‘discontent focused on more subtle differences that only became obvious in faceto-face communication
to power plays of varying intensity, and how they call an entire society into question. These motivations may arise in connection with identity and remembrance, with
familial or collective ties, with politics, but also, let us not forget,
with religions. Studying these motives and interests, then, considerably illuminates a society’s functioning after the catastrophe and the
slow construction of a collective mourning process. These issues also
address the emergence of the symbolic and legal status of corpses, a
central point for all of the studies. They call for
In a similar way, the anthropologist Sjaak van der Geest ( 2005 ) has called for an anthropology of the spiritual and ritual dimensions of modern medicine. Hospitals can easily be taken as places of secularisation on the fringes of life. Despite the fact that religion often becomes important during illness, religious agents have almost become matter out of place in modern hospitals. As van der Geest ( 2005 : 135) observes, it may appear as if ‘[m]edical scientists and technicians have taken over the role of priests and other religious specialists in times of crisis
discipline of anthropology at
large (Humphreys 1988), at least in comparison to other equally pervasive social
forms such as kinship or religion (Vellinga 2011: 173), its stature has in recent
years grown to occupy a viable sub-field in its own right.
In former times, as Vellinga (2011: 173) notes, the anthropology of architecture
has typically focused on descriptions and typologies of indigenous building types
and techniques, often from a comparative perspective (e.g. Horowitz 1967; Mauss
 1979). In the latter part of the twentieth century, symbolic analyses of