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Theoretical approaches
Finn Stepputat

movement used these powers of abjection as a kind of ‘political pedagogy’ aimed at opening up and changing political subjectivities when leaving corpses to rot on the roads. Bataille (1991) gives the fear of death and the abject powers of the dead body a key role in his conceptualisation of sovereignty. He shares Hertz’s image of the dead body as an object of horror and dread. Thus, the dead body partakes of ‘a whole sticky horror’ that cannot be assimilated into ‘the order of things’ (1991: 215–16). But for Bataille, analysing modern, secularised society, the horror is

in Governing the dead
Zaira Lofranco

, and mobility across it highlighted incompatibility between ‘us’ and ‘them’ (Barth 1969: 39). People who lived on the other side were seen as morally to blame, in part because violence is a barbaric act (inhumanity is often associated with backwardness), but above all because they had visibly betrayed an ideal model of a civilised, ethnically mixed and secularised urban community of neighbours (Maček 2001: 218). The inhabitants were increasingly aware after the war that, despite ethnic displacement, their neighbourhood had not become ethnically homogeneous

in Migrating borders and moving times
Christian Suhr

. 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

in Descending with angels