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.
person is supposed to obtain after ritual. Yet the rituals I describe here are not intended to bring about a return to the state of everyday affairs. For the patients entering into these ritual spaces, the everyday, like the past, is that which needs to be left behind. The ritual is intended as part of a total transformation in which the patient as well as the healer is absorbed within the space of the liminal (see also Mahmood 2005 : 131).
In the Islamic case it is obviously God who is understood as the transformative agent. In Danish
child Horus provided the mythological scenario referenced in spells used in the context of
magico-medical healingrituals. A transfer of power occurs between Horus the
innocent son of Isis and Horus the child, who was considered to be a ‘protector’ or ‘saviour’ in his own right (Nunn 1996: 219). The concept of the saviour
child Horus is also implicit in the presentation of divine kingship, where he
is opposed to the god Seth, and by extension other chaotic forces (Wilkinson
The Metternich Stela (Scott 1951), one of the category of objects known as
Combining approaches to ancient Egyptian religious expression, medical practice and the modern scientific study of human and material remains from Egypt and Sudan, this volume celebrates the multidisciplinary career of Prof Rosalie David OBE. The UK’s first female Professor in Egyptology, Rosalie David’s pioneering work at the University of Manchester on Egyptian mummies, magic and medicine has attracted international attention. This volume presents research by a number of leading experts in their fields: recent archaeological fieldwork, new research on Egyptian human remains and unpublished museum objects along with reassessments of ancient Egyptian texts concerned with healing and the study of technology through experimental archaeology. Papers try to answer some of Egyptology’s biggest questions - How did Tutankhamun die? How were the Pyramids built? How were mummies made? – along with less well-known puzzles. Rather than address these areas separately, the volume adopts the so-called ‘Manchester method’ instigated by Rosalie David and attempts to integrate perspectives from both traditional Egyptology and scientific analytical techniques. Much of this research has never appeared in print before, particularly that resulting from the Manchester Egyptian Mummy Project, set up in the 1970s. The resulting overview illustrates how Egyptology has developed over the last 40 years, and how many of the same big questions still remain. This book will be of use to researchers and students of archaeology or related disciplines with an interest in multidisciplinary approaches to understanding life and death in ancient Egypt and Sudan.
The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval
religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to
ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building,
idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church
was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a
time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and
dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the
material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity
and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside
liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which
the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of
the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the
book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by
the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were
constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and
significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval
religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and
academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English
priestly occupation, the choachytes (Donker van Heel
1992: 19–30). The precise contexts of rituals which included the pouring of water
– or other liquids – are not made clear in texts, simply because no need is felt to
explain norms of behaviour in explicit ways that answer questions from a different cultural perspective (Eyre 2013: 109). This general interpretational problem
highlights our lack of firm knowledge about how people would normally have
interacted with objects like the healing statues. Texts on monuments like statues
magico-medical practices in
This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.
healer to a pupil. In
other cases, visions, dreams or spirit possession would imbue the
self-taught healer with medical knowledge. 107 Dreams and possession would
often also play an important part in the initiation and training of a
novice healer. Novice healers frequently underwent suffering and illness
themselves. The role of practitioner suffering and the importance of
music and dancing in rituals
Reconstructing modernity assesses the character of approaches to rebuilding British cities during the decades after the Second World War. It explores the strategies of spatial governance that sought to restructure society and looks at the cast of characters who shaped these processes. It challenges traditional views of urban modernism as moderate and humanist, shedding new light on the importance of the immediate post-war for the trajectory of urban renewal in the twentieth century. The book shows how local corporations and town planners in Manchester and Hull attempted to create order and functionality through the remaking of their decrepit Victorian cities. It looks at the motivations of national and local governments in the post-war rebuilding process and explores why and how they attempted the schemes they did. What emerges is a picture of local corporations, planners and city engineers as radical reshapers of the urban environment, not through the production of grand examples of architectural modernism, but in mundane attempts to zone cities, produce greener housing estates, control advertising or regulate air quality. Their ambition to control and shape the space of their cities was an attempt to produce urban environments that might be both more orderly and functional, but also held the potential to shape society.
trying to alleviate suffering rather than as spectators applying cultural, ritual, or religious truths’.
Whyte's emphasis on the agency of people chimes with a wide range of medical anthropological studies that have aimed to destabilise all-encompassing structuralist models of healing in diverse ways (see e.g. Kleinman 1980, 1988 ; Mattingly 1998 : 46). The same push towards recognising the agency and creative powers of humans, rather than seeing them merely as passive recipients, is expressed in Alyson Callan's ( 2012 ) study of mental