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Bringing the Soul Back to the Self

Soul Retrieval in Neo-shamanism

Galina Lindquist

It has been generally agreed that rituals of healing work through transforming the embodied self; thus, they are especially fit to be analyzed as rituals in their own right. This chapter focuses on the ritual of soul retrieval as it is practiced by Western urban neo-shamans. It argues that apart from giving the patient new memories and new narratives of the self, this version of soul retrieval works by staging a formalized context for forgiveness, here conceptualized as reconciliation between the self and the mundane and divine others. It is argued, however, that the mechanism of this healing ritual is better understood in the light of New Age ontologies of the self, consciousness, and the divine, making ‘ritual in its own right‚’ a good first step towards re-engaging with the social.

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With or Without Gringos

When Panamanians Talk about the United States and Its Citizens

Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

In local and informal contexts, Panamanians talk about the power of the United States and describe its citizens in multifaceted and complex terms. In this article I examine those views as they are articulated in informal urban settings in Panama City and in conversations with middle-class Panamanians. My respondents evaluate the US-Panama relationship and discuss individual North Americans with realism, reflecting a graceful but critical spirit of forgiveness toward their more powerful ally. A broader awareness of US colonialism in the past is combined with a pragmatic acknowledgement of opportunities in the present and the desire for a more equal relationship in the future. I argue that the opportunity to voice unreserved opinions about powerful Others can potentially empower local actors.

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A Case of Insult

Emotion, Law, and Witchcraft Accusations in a Botswana Village Customary Court

Pnina Werbner and Richard Werbner

Legal anthropologists have been latecomers in the debate surrounding law and emotion, a movement responding to the notion that the law is ‘imbued with emotion’. As in the US and Europe, in Botswana cases of public insults are emotionally charged, and this is particularly so in witchcraft insult hearings. Akin to hate crimes, these insults threaten public peace, kinship amity, and decency. Members of a customary court mobilize an elaborate moral lexicon from everyday life in order not simply to ascertain the forensic facts, but to persuade offenders to regain their rational good sense, reach a self-conscious emotional balance, and recover spiritual calmness. The procedure culminates in a dialogue intended to restore public peace and to elicit an apology or show of regret from defendants and forgiveness from insulted plaintiffs.

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Love is Love

The Recent Jason Jones Judgement in Trinidad and Tobago

Dylan Kerrigan

group of multireligious supporters – also with flags and banners, this time opposing the legal challenge – was for the most part more quiet and subdued. One or two stood with their mouths open, while a few others prayed aloud for forgiveness, with one

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The Alimentary Forms of Religious Life

Technologies of the Other, Lenience, and the Ethics of Ethiopian Orthodox Fasting

Diego Malara

theological erudition, but the practical observance of restrictions that produced the multifarious effects of discipline. These effects included, but were not limited to, forgiveness for one’s sins, protection from evils and misfortunes, and blessings in all

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Demotion as Value

Rank Infraction among the Ngadha in Flores, Indonesia

Olaf H. Smedal

was, firstly, to ask forgiveness. Secondly, we wanted to return to express our gratitude. And that gratitude, if each of us had come alone , might not be fulfilling. We wished to celebrate that feeling of gratitude together . But if Albert and Linda

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Discipline (and Lenience) Beyond the Self

Discipleship in a Pentecostal-Charismatic Organization

Bruno Reinhardt

above. In LCI’s cell systems, everyday interactions, and camp meetings, a good spiritual parent expresses care for pupils according to their spiritual maturity. Lenient forgiveness is key for pragmatic and ethical reasons. First, it is widely known in

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(De)materializing Kinship—Holding Together Mutuality and Difference

Kathryn E. Goldfarb and Caroline E. Schuster

relationality draws into relief social hierarchies, national (dis)identification, debt forgiveness and perduring obligations, loss and abandonment, (in)visible markers of otherness, and the threat of violence—all of which theorize the matter of politics and

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Vertical Love

Forms of Submission and Top-Down Power in Orthodox Ethiopia

Diego Maria Malara and Tom Boylston

consider proper religious practice, to enlist protectors to compensate for their imperfections and to seek forgiveness and redemption on their behalf. According to Hagos, as well as many other informants of both authors of this article, when referring to

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Cutting the Face

Kinship, State and Social Media Conflict in Networked Jordan

Geoffrey Hughes

or the terms of the truce may be altered such that people can enter the other side’s domain without violating the truce. In this way, demands for punitive damages are supposed to give way to mercy and then forgiveness on the part of the victim