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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

and somatic states ( Chua 2011 ). There are also times when invisible entities cross that divide, and momentarily take apprehensible form to interact with humans. This is illustrated by the story of the main guardian spirit of the village where I did