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Dan Merkur

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.

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Ritual and commemoration in contemporary Russia

State-church relationships and the vernacularization of the politics of memory

Tobias Köllner

Since state atheism was abandoned in the 1990s, the Russian Federation entered what can be called a postsecular phase. Religion, formerly limited to the private sphere, reappeared in the public and underwent an astonishing religious revival. During the time of my fieldwork in 2006/2007, a tendency to favor the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and to facilitate its return to the public reached its climax. In this article I draw attention to how the political, the secular, and the religious are interconnected and allow for new vernacular forms of legitimating power and authority. One example is the introduction of new public holidays and public rituals. They connect local and national narratives and relate to ideas about the communality of the Russian people. They create new forms of a divine kinship, which draw heavily on religious and national symbols and merge the sacred and the profane.

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Dounia Bouzar

Je travaille sur la réappropriation de la référence musulmane par la première génération de Français de confession musulmane, jeunes tous nés en France et socialisés à l'école de la République. Nous assistons en effet à la naissance de cette génération « à la fois française et musulmane », qui cherche a élaborer son identité à partir de son appartenance aussi bien à la France qu'à l'islam. Lorsque l'on étudie la situation de l'islam de France, un aspect essentiel apparaît : l'histoire de la laïcité en France crée les conditions d'émergence d'une nouvelle religiosité, puisque les musulmans de France ne trouvent plus les réponses à leurs questions en se tournant vers les pays étrangers. Qu'est-ce qu'être musulman dans une société laïque ? Où et comment faire la séparation entre le profane et le sacré ? Comment faire la différence entre les principes religieux et les formes historiques que ces derniers ont prises au fil des siècles dans les différentes sociétés musulmanes ? Le contexte de pluralisme démocratique laïque français oblige ainsi les musulmans, comme cela a été jadis le cas pour les autres croyants, à réorganiser leur manière d'exister et de croire à partir de cette nouvelle expérience. Ce n'est pas par de grandes théories que les croyants réinterprètent leurs textes sacrés, mais par l'expérimentation, le vécu.

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Outside All Reason—Magic, Sorcery and Epistemology in Anthropology

Bruce Kapferer

Magic, sorcery and witchcraft are at the epistemological centre of anthropology. They embed matters at the heart of the definition of modern anthropology, and the critical issues that they raise are of enduring significance for the discipline. But the questions these phenomena highlight expand beyond mere disciplinary or scholastic interest. They point to matters of deep existential concern in a general quest for an understanding of the human forces engaged in the human construction of lived realities. Anthropology in the embracing Kantian sense is involved. The phenomena that are deemed to be magic and sorcery (including all that which such scholars as Durkheim (1915) and Mauss (1972) would include under the label ‘profane’) project towards the far shores of human possibility and potentiality. The human profundities to which they might lead are already there in the imagery and metaphors of thinkers, both abstract and concretely pragmatic, worldwide. Within European traditions the world of the magician and the sorcerer is routinely evoked to explore the continuing crisis that is faced by humankind, more recently, for example, in the works of Dante, Goethe and Nietzsche right through to the most contemporary philosophers and social commentators. The essays in these pages contend with some of the overarching existential issues towards which a concern with the magical must extend.

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Donner la mort au gibier sur le territoire sacré de la Mecque

Une vieille controverse (VIIe-VIIIe siècles)

Hocine Benkheira

serpents: « Vous avez tué un ennemi », dit-il. « Quant au lézard, il devra être compensé par l’immolation d’un chevreau ( jady ) de bonne taille ». 16 Ne pas profaner l’état de sacralisation ni le territoire sacré Il est défendu à l’unanimité de tuer du

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Queering Virginity

From Unruly Girls to Effeminate Boys

Eftihia Mihelakis

can explore “the themes of male sexuality, homoeroticism, and religious mystery” by reconsidering the importance of being unsettled by our complex and contradictory histories that encompass the clear distinction between “the sacred and the profane

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Bülent Diken

alienation: the more wealth that workers produce in a capitalistic economy, the poorer they become. Just as religion captures what is profane and sacralizes it through glorification, capitalism captures the commons and commodifies them for display in the

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L’Aimé qui est l’aimée

Can Levinas’ Beloved Be Queer?

Robin Podolsky

the Holy can be profane. It is refreshing that Levinas, a philosopher who appeals to us because he is not ashamed of morality, here appears to be unashamed of the element of lewdness that informs this constitutional human relationship. Levinas calls

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David Nicol

nation. I am too old to learn. Profane and must be left out 42 CHAMBERLAIN I’ faith, the fellow is very zealous In his blasphemous superstitions! 43 SMITH What think you of our King? TOMOCOMO We saw not him. CHAMBERLAIN Why, sure, you did. D’ee 44 not

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The Return to the Monument

The Looming Absence of the Temple

Hava Schwartz

ordinary, contemporary, secular historicity, seemingly merged and became as one … The distinction between sacred and profane was canceled. From now, everything was sacred, or could become sacred. ( Kurzweil 1998: 25 ) 4 In the aftermath of the Six-Day War