? If this is the case, would it raise another
more supernatural reason for the Mexican state and the soldiers to
watch over the corpse of Beltrán Leyva? What if the forensic staff
did desecrate his corpse for a joke and later made the military afraid
of the cosmological consequences of their act? Or, to put it differently, what if the symbolic ‘force’ of his corpse, which shows his and
his rivals’ ‘will to kill and be killed’, was closely interlinked with the
material life of the dead corpse?
The substance of dead bodies
To approach this line of investigation of the
-Botherers he is wholly engaged with also
understanding what they think, and in how what they think –
and how they get others to think those same things – inspires
Freddy defines religion as blind faith in some
unassailable Truth, not as something necessarily anchored in
supernaturalism or belief in supernatural beings. He calls this
entire human heritage could, on the basis of a supposed mal-pronunciation, be wiped out.
The reference here is to a passage in Australian Aborigines concerning a certain ‘clever old witch’: ‘The aborigines had among them sorcerers and doctors, whom they believed to possess supernatural powers. In the Kolor tribe there was a sorceress well known in the Western district under the name of White Lady, who was the widow of the chief, and whose supernatural influence was much dreaded by all.
From colonial to cross-cultural psychiatry in Nigeria
Matthew M. Heaton
with Western psychiatric models that posited schizophrenia as a cross-culturally universal phenomenon linked to brain biology, he vehemently objected to the idea that the culture of the ‘normal’ African exhibited psychotic tendencies that paved a short, easy path to a schizophrenic break. Reacting to the body of literature claiming that African beliefs in the mystical properties of things and of the omnipresence of supernatural forces represented the kind of ‘logical’ break characteristic of European schizophrenics, Lambo noted that ‘primitive man's magic is no sign
harnessing of it. If the Kurumba were sorcerers, and had
supernatural abilities, as their reputation had
clearly indicated, then the harnessing of these powers for clients
suggested that powers were there to be controlled. With the
breakdown of clientage, ritual practices, and even the training of
healers, these powers had become diffuse, hard to contain, and
unleashed, so to speak
‘trickery’ or ‘superficiality’. With it
went an incurable love of the concrete, the empirical, and the
verifiable, and an instinctive distrust of the abstract, the
impalpable, the supernatural – in short, an early tendency to
a scientific attitude and positivist approach, unfriendly to
romanticism, abstract formulations, and metaphysics’ (Berlin
Enacting human rights in mental health care in Ghana
Ursula M. Read
( 1 ), 27–41 .
Bass , Thomas
( 1997 ) ‘ Traditional African psychotherapy: An interview with Thomas Adeoye Lambo ’, in Magic, Witchcraft and Religion: An Anthropological Study of the Supernatural, ed. A. C.
Lehmann and J. E.
Myers , pp. 165–170 . Paolo Alto : Mayfield Publishing Company .
Brodwin , Paul
related to the fear of spiritual contagion as in Hertz’s case, but rather
to the fear of contagious violence. Obsessed as he is with ‘the fine line
between repulsion and desire’ (Posel and Gupta 2009), Bataille notes
that the violence of death constitutes ‘a supernatural peril which can
be “caught” from the dead body’ and that the ‘desire to kill may take
hold of us’ (Bataille 2006: 46–7). Therefore the dead body is subjected to taboo. Within the community, but less so when the dead
body belongs to a stranger, the ‘taboo which lays hold on the others
Pollution, contamination and the neglected dead in post-war Saigon
their demarcated enclosures. They domesticate and sublimate it
I ask Lam and other people who have placed their parents’ urns
in Buddhist temples why they did so. Echoing what others said, Lam
replies: ‘I travel a lot for work. I worry that I may miss important
dates in the ritual calendar.’ She means that monks’ prayers and the
supernaturally potent milieu of the Buddhist temple provide ritual
protection to her mother’s remains, even if she is absent. Her recently
widowed father joins in the conversation and adds, ‘I worry about the
neglect and abandonment
Contested narratives of the independence struggle in postconfl ict Timor-Leste
arrest him, he summoned the spirit of Dom Boaventura, leader of
the 1912 Manufahi uprising against the Portuguese colonial power.
With the aid of the spirit, Reinado gained invisibility and escaped
past the SAS (Agence France-Presse 2007; Nygaard-Christensen
2011: 220–1). Various other groups, such as the martial arts groups
(MAGs) and ritual arts groups (RAGs) that have mushroomed in
the country but also allegedly the Sagrada Familia, regularly use
ancestral worship in rituals to give them supernatural strengths and
skills (Myrttinen 2010; Scambary et al. 2006).