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Liana Chua

This article centers on the somatic modes through which ghosts, spirits, and other unseen beings are apprehended as felt experiences by the Bidayuh, an indigenous group of Malaysian Borneo. Such experiences reveal a local epistemology of supernatural encounters that associates vision with normality and its suspension with both sensory and social liminality. The second half of the article explores how this model has been extended to contemporary Bidayuh Christianity, thus rendering God, Jesus, and other personages viscerally real in people's lives. Drawing on the ethnography and recent developments in the anthropology of religion, I argue that these 'soul encounters' hold important theoretical and methodological lessons for anthropologists, pushing us to reshape our conceptions of belief, as well as our approaches to the study of ostensibly intangible religious phenomena.

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Witnessing the Unseen

Extinction, Spirits, and Anthropological Responsibility

Liana Chua

forms of witnessing that I have encountered in my current research on orangutan conservation and earlier fieldwork with indigenous Bidayuhs in Borneo: first, the technologies through which orangutan extinction is made visualizable and alarmingly

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Selfies and Self-Fictions

Calibrating Co-presence in and of ‘the Field’

Liana Chua

interlocutors—indigenous Bidayuh villagers—about this person, showing them his picture, saying nice things about him, and even brandishing my not-quite-silver, not-quite-engagement ring. As far as my acquaintances were concerned, I had a fiancé in England whom I

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Introduction

Knowledge, Ignorance, and Pilgrimage

Evgenia Mesaritou, Simon Coleman, and John Eade

). These dangers may give rise to forms of systematic ignoring, through which pilgrims dissociate themselves from knowledge of certain signs, rituals, or even people. In her study of the Christian Bidayuhs youth of Malaysian Borneo, for example, Liana Chua

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Liana Chua and Omri Grinberg

explores how two unseen phenomena – orangutan extinction and Bidayuh spirits – are conjured through environmental visualizations and bodily states respectively. She suggests that these technologies of witnessing entail distinct temporalities and relational

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“SpiritS Follow the words”

Stories as Spirit Traces among the Khmu of Northern Laos

Rosalie Stolz

submitting to them. Liana Chua (2009) has shown that the Bidayuh of Sarawak exhibit ignorance on the matters of traditional spirit knowledge in order to disentangle themselves from the implications of knowing. By admitting spirit knowledge, Chua argues, the

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The Algebra of Souls

Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China

Mireille Mazard

reach Heaven after death. Conversion to Christianity thus involves “the cultivation of a conscious, reflexive self … that must serve as its own moral regulator,” as Chua (2012: 517) notes for the Bidayuh of Malaysian Borneo. Yet church doctrine often

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Introduction

Anthropological Knowledge Making, the Reflexive Feedback Loop, and Conceptualizations of the Soul

Katherine Swancutt and Mireille Mazard

: Personhood, Animals, Plants and Things in Contemporary Amazonia and Siberia . New York : Berghahn Books . Chua , Liana . 2012 . “ Conversion, Continuity, and Moral Dilemmas among Christian Bidayuhs in Malaysian Borneo .” American Ethnologist 39 , no