Drawing on phenomenology and his clinical practice, the author explores religious experience and the dynamics of the numinous. The article opens with the argument that psychoanalysts, like religious healers, should be able to work with religious phenomena as part of psychoanalytic therapy. The origin of the term 'numinous' is explained, and two types of human religious experience, mysterium tremendum and fascinans, are detailed. The role of anxiety in converting a metaphorical illusion (fascinans) into a private symbol (mysterium tremendum) is described. The terms by which religion can be viewed alternatively as delusion, illusion, and tenable speculation are discussed. A patient's religious concerns with the sacred and the profane are presented as symptoms of the repression of numinous experiences. Therapy can be promoted through a psychoanalytic dialogue on the patient's religiosity and its partial replication of early object relations.
The Convergence of Memory, Tourism and National History in Ghana
The year 2007 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Ghana and the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. The Ghana Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Affairs is planning the Joseph Project, a roots tourism initiative, aimed at ‘welcoming home’ its African diaspora. The historic slave forts and castles on Ghana’s coast are important sites for diasporic roots tourists, who also maintain symbolic links to Ghana’s independence movement through the history of Pan-Africanism. The Joseph Project uniquely includes a programme of national healing and atonement for African complicity in the slave trade and aims to remap national memory through tourism, education and the establishment of new museums, monuments and rituals.
While permitting other types of exploitation such as racism. With its emphasis on separate spheres, its depiction of Florence's superhuman healing powers, and its concern with redeeming the patriarch, Dombey and Son certainly seems more interested in a mildly gradual improvement of the status quo than in radical change. Yet to ignore Florence's desire, however conveniently that desire sometimes feeds into patriarchal dominance, is to overlook not only a complex portrayal of female sexuality that is neither condemned nor entirely denied, but also a depiction of the painful and difficult task of molding desire into culturally acceptable forms. Although the novel cannot imagine a full integration of women into the 'masculine' realm of politics and business, the dilemma of Florence and Edith in some ways reflects the problematic posed by conflicting concepts of twentieth and even twenty-first century feminism: does one, like Florence, focus on inclusion and acceptance in an attempt to change patriarchal structures from within, thereby abandoning truly radical change; or does one, like Edith, insist on rebellion from the margins, sacrificing community and risking the possibility that the center will conveniently ignore the margin's demands?
Penelope Anthias, Smith James H., Markku Hokkanen, Robert W. Thurston, Robert W. Lyons, and Thomas Solomon
Nicole Fabricant and Bret Gustafson, eds., Remapping Bolivia: Resources, Territory, and Indigeneity in a Plurinational State (Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2011), viii, 251 pp. ISBN 978-1-934691-51-9.
Koen Stroeken, Moral Power: The Magic of Witchcraft, vol. 9, Epistemologies of Healing (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010), xiv, 269 pp. ISBN 978-1-84545-735-8.
P. Wenzel Geissler and Catherine Molyneux, eds., Evidence, Ethos and Experiment: The Anthropology and History of Medical Research in Africa (New York: Berghahn Books, 2011), 498 pp. ISBN 978-0-85745-092-0.
Paige West, From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), xviii, 316 pp. ISBN 978-0-82235-150-4.
Yael Navaro-Yashin, The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geography in a Postwar Polity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), xxiv, 271 pp. ISBN 978-0-82235-204-4.
Dana Rappoport, Songs from the Thrice-Blooded Land: Ritual Music of the Toraja (Sulawesi, Indonesia), trans. Timothy Seller, Elisabeth Coville, and Stanislaus Sandarupa (Paris: Éditions Épistèmes and Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2009), 2 vols., 213 pp., 181 pp., DVD-ROM. ISBN 978-2-73511-260-9.
Geraldine Bloustien and Margaret Peters, Youth, Music and Creative Cultures: Playing for Life (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), xii, 296 pp. ISBN 978-0-23020-058-6.
Unwillingly and unwittingly, Jews have become 'icons' in Europe's new commemorative pluralist democracies. They have now set the standard for national commemoration of specific historical wrongs, for victimhood, for public visibility, for community organisation, for the right to multiple loyalties, and for a position that one can call selective national belonging; in brief, for real but also highly symbolic power. The main challenge Jews will be facing in the future will be that of making sure these 'iconic' rights are spread more globally in a setting of greater collective justice. But Jews, more than any other group, can also set the limits to too strong an identity pursuit. I believe there is an urgent need to recast a common belonging inside our respective countries and societies. The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of sanctified specific identities. The time has come to move it back toward a more moderate centre. Commemoration should lead to reconciliation, overcoming of the past, and healing, not to exacerbated identities. And Jews, precisely because of their iconic quality, now hold the keys to such a swing back. Otherwise we should not be surprised if Europe's Muslims follow the Jews in the path of declared victimhood, selective belonging, even disintegration through an implicitly hostile reading of the larger society outside.
The ‘Latvian Stonehenge’
The ideologies, beliefs and practices associated with new cult places in post-Soviet Latvia are discussed. When social movement for the restoration of an independent nation state started at the end of the 1980s, new pantheistic cult sites gained a certain topicality. In relation to such sites esoteric New Age style ideologies and practices were constructed. Pokaiņi forest - a remote place in Latvia, abundant in stone piles and big stones, has been interpreted as an ancient sanctuary of global significance, as a cosmological and healing centre. Latvian scholars - archaeologists, geologists and folklorists - are treating Pokaiņi as a site with traces of ancient agricultural activity, and its popularity is attributed to the 'use of good management'. The historical perspective of the Pokaiņi phenomenon and modern interpretations of its perception are discussed in the context of revitalisation movements. The analysis of the complex socio-cultural situation of Latvia in the turn of the twentieth and the twenty- first century reveals the reasons, facilitating the emergence and significance of Pokaiņi and similar phenomena in post-Soviet Latvia.
Jonathan David Bobaljik, Christopher L. Hill, David Lempert, Brian Donahoe, Irena Vladimirsky, Jaroslaw Derlicki, Melissa Chakars, John P. Ziker, and Liesl L. Gambold
Megumi Kurebito, ed., Comparative Basic Vocabulary of the Chukchee-Kamchatkan Language Family: 1.
Alevtina N. Zhukova & Tokusu Kurebito, A Basic Topical Dictionary of the Koryak-Chukchi Language.
Michael Fortescue, Comparative Chukotko-Kamchatkan Dictionary
Constantine Grewingk, Grewingk’s Geology of Alaska and the Northwest Coast of America: Contributions toward Knowledge of the Orographic and Geognostic Condition of the Northwest Coast of America, with the Adjacent Islands
Bryn Thomas, Trans-Siberian Handbook: Sixth Edition of the Guide to the World’s Longest Railway Journey
Kira Van Deusen, Singing Story, Healing Drum: Shamans and Storytellers of Turkic Siberia
Jamie Bisher, White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian
Joachim Otto Habeck, What it Means to be a Herdsman: The Practice and Image of Reindeer Husbandry among Komi of Northern Russia
Robert W. Montgomery, Late Tsarist and Early Soviet Nationality and Cultural Policy: The Buryats and Their Language
Igor Krupnik, Rachel Mason, and Tonia W. Horton, eds., Northern Ethnographic Landscapes: Perspectives From Circumpolar Nations
Margaret Paxson, Solovyovo: The Story of Memory in a Russian Village
The homology between the fragmented body politic and its suffering physical bodies in Titus Andronicus seems to suggest that Shakespeare represents physical disability negatively: as corruption, disorder, incapacity. By relying upon a corporeal metaphor of fragmentation to characterise the political state of Rome, Shakespeare makes the traumatised or dismembered body bear a negative ideological burden; political inefficacy seems to be equated with the violated body. Inversely, and to the same effect, Titus and Lavinia's violated bodies seem to render their access to political and social agency difficult, if not impossible. However, at both the metaphorical and material level, Shakespeare endows the dis-abled body with the capacity to heal or adapt itself under the most extenuating circumstances. Overcoming physical barriers to communication and action, Titus and Lavinia enable themselves to enact revenge. This essay argues that the adaptability of the political and physical body in Titus suggests a potentially affirmative way of reconceptualising the physically incomplete body - not as a disabled entity but as a body that can suffer partial losses and still survive, succeed even, if its constituent parts form their own internally coherent body.
Pilgrimage Patterns and Authorial Self-Presentation in Three Pilgrimage Texts
This paper explores a theme important in pilgrimage narratives from a variety of cultures: the expression of the author/pilgrim’s developing understanding of the meaning and significance of his or her pilgrimage. It does so through three case studies: readings of three first-person narratives from widely differing chronological, cultural and religious milieux. The first narrative is Aelius Aristides’ The Sacred Tales, an ancient Greek text written AD c. 170, which evokes the culture of Graeco- Roman healing pilgrimage; the second is Friar Felix Fabri’s Evagatorium in Terrae Sanctae (‘Wanderings in the Holy Land’), a Latin narrative of Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land written c.1484–8; and the third is Pierre Loti’s Un pèlerin d’Angkor (‘An Angkor Pilgrim’), a French text relating a personal (and initially nonreligious) pilgrimage to the temples of Angkor in what was then French Indo-China, published in 1912. These three narratives were produced in cultures with profoundly different traditions of pilgrimage, including its practice, its cultural meanings and the modes of its description. These significant differences immediately raise the question of the meaning and usefulness of attaching the label ‘pilgrimage narratives’ to all three texts, and invite a reasoning for the exercise of comparison across cultures and across time.
A Croatian Example
In this paper I explore the link between research into contemporary alternative medical practices (CAM) and activism. It is based on my recent research (2004-2007) which dealt with the interrelatedness and coexistence of biomedical and non-biomedical systems in the city of Zagreb. The process of adoption and introduction of CAM to Western European countries started some twenty years ago and in Zagreb the process was evident after the fall of communism. My research started with patients and their attitudes towards illness, health, well-being and suffering, factors that determined their choice of therapies and healers. However, hearing stories of people's experiences of CAM propelled me into the role of therapist as listener and, through attending to the silence surrounding the use of CAM in a relatively hostile society, the role of anthropologist as activist. Through the process of understanding and interpreting sensitive cultural practices, I explore whether anthropologists are uniquely placed to actively protect the rights of people to whom they owe their science.