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Chinese Hell deity worship in contemporary Singapore and Malaysia
Author: Fabian Graham

This study investigates contemporary Chinese Underworld traditions in Singapore and Malaysia, where the veneration of Hell deities is particularly popular. Highlighting the Taoist and Buddhist cosmologies on which present-day beliefs and practices are based, the book provides unique insights into the lived tradition, taking alterity seriously and interpreting practitioners’ beliefs without bias. First-person dialogues between the author and channelled Underworld deities challenge wider discourses concerning the interrelationships between sociocultural and spiritual worlds, promoting the de-stigmatisation of spirit possession and non-physical phenomena in the academic study of mystical and religious traditions.

Locating the globalgothic
Justin D. Edwards

intersects with, transforms (and is possibly transformed by) the diasporic Canadian-Caribbean narrative of Soucouyant : the liminal and contested spaces represented by Chariandy have the potential to combine Nosferatu with French vampire myths and West African narratives of spirit possession. Thus, although it draws on Trinidadian folklore, Soucouyant differs from those Caribbean works that represent

in Globalgothic
Markku Hokkanen

Vimbuza spirit possession complex in the late nineteenth century was closely connected with increased contact between the Tumbuka and the Ngoni, in particular, and from the twentieth century, with labour migration. The Vimbuza complex was a broad category that, as Boston Soko has noted, could include a wide variety of apparently treatment-resistant illnesses. 73 Traditionally, communication with spirits

in Medicine, mobility and the empire
Lionel Laborie

French Prophets and other enthusiasts based their legitimacy lay in the practice of Christianity in the immediate post-apostolic age. Looking in particular at the Corinthian and Montanist churches, they argued that prophecy remained a key component of primitive Christianity for at least three centuries. This went against the cessationist stance of the Catholic Church under Constantine, which ruled that spirit possessions had ended with the apostles in the first century.107 John Lacy’s revisionist take on the foundations of Christianity directly questioned the

in Enlightening enthusiasm
Fabian Graham

anthropomorphic image is created and worshipped in statue form on home and temple altars and two-way communication may then be initiated through divination whereby a deity may answer simple ‘yes’ ‘no’ questions by manipulating divination blocks ( bue / 筊 ). Complex human–deity interactions occur when the latter are channelled through their tang-ki . Spirit possession depends on the philosophical concept of the divisible nature of the soul, and on a spirit medium’s hun soul (the yang element) leaving their body, thus creating a vacuum to be

in Voices from the Underworld
Living spirituality

Between 1598 and 1800, an estimated 3, 271 Catholic women left England to enter convents on the Continent. This study focuses more particularly upon those who became Benedictines in the seventeenth century, choosing exile in order to pursue their vocation for an enclosed life. Through the study of a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes, this book highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences. Its first four chapters adopt a traditional historical approach to illustrate the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. They offer a prosopographical study of Benedictine convents in exile, and show how those houses were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home. The next fur chapters propose a different point of entry into the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body, which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.

‘The Platonic differential’ and ‘Zarathustra’s laughter’
Mischa Twitchin

film. Of what then might the entangled reception of Rouch’s film be symptomatic, at least amongst its ‘Western’ audiences, including those in Niger where it was filmed? Whatever Rouch’s film may or may not tell us about the Hauka, whose cult of spirit possession it presents (commissioned, indeed, by two of its priests), what does its reception tell us about its European viewers

in Foucault’s theatres
Abstract only
The mental world of an eighteenth-century Anglican pastor
Andrew Sneddon

, 1978), pp. 5–15; Ruth Whelan, ‘Reading the bible in early eighteenth-century Dublin: the Huguenot pastor Henri de Rocheblave (1665–1709)’ in Eighteenth-Century Ireland, xxi (2006), 9–13; Clarke Garrett, Spirit possession and popular religion: from the Camisards to the Shakers (Baltimore, 1997), pp. 11, 15, 22, 26–35, 42. 82 England to various religious denominations (Quaker, Philadelphian, Presbyterian and Anglican), usually under 30 years old and just as likely to be male as female. John Lacy, a prosperous English Presbyterian justice of the peace, and Sir

in Witchcraft and Whigs
Abstract only
Mobilities, networks and the making of colonial medical culture
Markku Hokkanen

likely to be consumers of new medicines), the history of Vimbuza spirit possession shows that possession healing offered women resources and ways of responding to conditions in which men seemed to reap more benefits from mobility. The heyday of the machila was relatively short: it was overtaken by bicycles, motor transport, trains and planes. By the Second World War the

in Medicine, mobility and the empire
Open Access (free)
Sharing anthropology
Paul Henley

Bataille sur le grand fleuve (Battle on the Great River) and Yenendi: les hommes qui font la pluie (Yenendi: the Men who Make the Rain), both shot in 1951 and released in 1952. These were concerned respectively with hippopotamus hunting on the river Niger, and with rain-making and spirit possession in Simiri, a drought-afflicted village on the edge of the Sahelian desert. Both hunting and spirit-possession would be recurrent topics of his work. These early films were followed

in Beyond observation