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David Rieff

has been greatly exaggerated, then you will doubt that those changes are likely to pose any existential challenge to the humanitarian international, be it in terms of the efficacy of what relief groups do in the field or in terms of the political and moral legitimacy they can aspire to enjoy. But if, on the contrary, you believe that we are living in the last days of a doomed system – established in the aftermath of World War II and dominated by the US – then the humanitarian international is no more likely to survive (or to put the matter more

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

71 countries registering a reduction in political rights and civil liberties ( Freedom House, 2018 ). All of which puts the viability of global liberal institutions increasingly in doubt. This idea of a protected place where, regardless of one’s identity (ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexuality, but also whether or not one is a dissident), one’s basic rights are secure is constitutively liberal. As fewer and fewer governments, and more and more people, view the existence of such a sanctuary within society as fanciful, illegitimate and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

‘manipulated video will ultimately destroy faith in our strongest remaining tether to the idea of a common reality’ ( Foer, 2018 ). Who Is Making Disinformation about Humanitarian Crises? The creators of disinformation are motivated by multiple factors. Some seek financial gain, such as the teenagers in Macedonia who famously produced false news stories in the lead up to the 2016 US election ( Silverman & Alexander, 2016 ). In humanitarian crises, however, the more common driver of disinformation creation appears to be partisanship and political

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Interpreting Violence on Healthcare in the Early Stage of the South Sudanese Civil War
Xavier Crombé and Joanna Kuper

it had over the previous year, and set out to clean up the devastated hospital amid a continuous flow of patients. According to the MSF-H’s head of mission at the time, the organisation’s return to Leer led government officials to openly question MSF’s impartiality in the conflict: from the government’s perspective, MSF-H had resumed activities only when the town was de facto back in the opposition’s hands. 6 In turn, there seemed to be little doubt in Leer that the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Islamic exorcism and psychiatry: a film monograph
Author: Christian Suhr

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.

Christian Suhr

other is inherent in many traditions of mystical revelation (see e.g. Pandolfo 1997 ; Taussig 1999 ; Steinbock 2007 ). Here I relate it to what one of Kierkegaard's ( 2005 ) many personas, Johannes de Silentio, identified as the two ‘movements of infinity’ that are involved in the particular state of mind he calls faith. In the first movement I locate the doubts and uncertainties of both patients and healers. This, in the words of De Silentio (Kierkegaard 2005 : 51), is the movement of resignation. It is the realisation of the arbitrary

in Descending with angels
Arthur & George
Peter Childs

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. Anon Arthur & George is a book about unlikely pairings and questionable divisions. It is a fiction about truth and relativity, perception and rationality, fear and authority. Drawing on the real-life investigation by Arthur Conan Doyle of a miscarriage of justice, it explores the borderlines of nationality and ethnicity, evidence and imagination, doubt and faith, fact and fiction, endings and beginnings. Above all, it underlines the power of

in Julian Barnes
Christian Suhr

pious Muslims, these cracks into the unknown may be useful because they produce a degree of doubt. Doubt ( shakk ) is often described as one of the most dangerous forms of illness. Yet doubt is an unavoidable condition and perhaps, in fact, a necessity. Without doubt, there would be complete certainty and therefore no possibility of faith as an active submission of consciousness to the divine. The emphasis on such paradoxical movements of faith is present in a number of religious traditions within and beyond Islam. Kierkegaard, whose translated work is being used by a

in Descending with angels
Helen McCarthy

spirit of popular government are acquiring a noticeable accretion of strength in every direction, and when the vast majority of those who have to fight are not only voters but civilians by profession and inclination, it is becoming an article of faith widely and sincerely professed in most countries that there is no quarrel between nations for which an equitable settlement could not be found without recourse to war, provided the voice of the people could make itself heard, and the necessary machinery were called into existence.8 The LNU shared this view that the

in The British people and the League of Nations
Editor: Gareth Atkins

This collection of essays examines the place of ‘saints’ and sanctity in nineteenth-century Britain. It argues that holy men and women were pivotal in religious discourse, as subjects of veneration and inter-confessional contention. Protestants were as fascinated by such figures as Catholics were. Long after the mechanisms of canonization had disappeared, they continued not only to engage with the saints of the past but continued to make their own saints in all but name. Just as strikingly, it claims that devotional practices and language were not the property of orthodox Christians alone. Even in an age of confessional strife, doubt and secularisation, devotional practices and language remained central to how both Christians and their opponents reflected on that changing world. Making and remaking saints is significant, then, because until now no-one has explored how sainthood remained significant in this period both as an enduring institution and as a fruitful metaphor that could be transposed into unexpected contexts. Each of the chapters in this volume focuses on the reception of a particular individual or group. Together they will attract not just historians of religion, but those concerned with material culture, the cult of history, and with the reshaping of British identities in an age of faith and doubt