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ISBN : 9781291274936
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It is August 18, 1634. Father Urbain Grandier, convicted of sorcery that led to the demonic possession of the Ursuline nuns of provincial Loudun in France, confesses his sins on the porch of the church of Saint-Pierre, then perishes in flames lit by his own exorcists. A dramatic tale that has inspired many artistic retellings, including a novel by Aldous Huxley and an incendiary film by Ken Russell, the story of the possession at Loudun here receives a compelling analysis from the renowned Jesuit historian Michel de Certeau. Interweaving substantial excerpts from primary historical documents with fascinating commentary, de Certeau shows how the plague of sorceries and possessions in France that climaxed in the events at Loudun both revealed the deepest fears of a society in traumatic flux and accelerated its transformation. In this tour de force of psychological history, de Certeau brings to vivid life a people torn between the decline of centralized religious authority and the rise of science and reason, wracked by violent anxiety over what or whom to believe. At the time of his death in 1986, Michel de Certeau was a director of studies at the école des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris. He was author of eighteen books in French, three of which have appeared in English translation as The Practice of Everyday Life,The Writing of History, and The Mystic Fable, Volume 1, the last of which is published by The University of Chicago Press. "Brilliant and innovative. . . . The Possession at Loudun is [de Certeau's] most accessible book and one of his most wonderful."—Stephen Greenblatt (from the Foreword)
This interdisciplinary study investigates the relationship between culture, language and cognition based on the aspects of social structure, space and possession in Tonga, Polynesia. Grounded on extensive field research, Volkel explores the subject from an anthropological as well as from a linguistic perspective. The book provides new insights into the language of respect, an honorific system which is deeply anchored in the societal hierarchy, spatial descriptions that are determined by socio-cultural and geocentric parameters, kinship terminology and possessive categories that perfectly express the system of social status inequalities among relatives. These examples impressively show that language is deeply anchored in its cultural context. Moreover, the linguistic structures reflect the underlying cognitive frame of its speakers. Just as several cultural practices (sitting order, access to land and gift exchange processes) the linguistic means are not only expressions of stratified social networks but also tools to maintain or negotiate the underlying socio-cultural system."
This book studies the psychology surrounding the development of owning and sharing in humans across different cultures.
This book is exclusively devoted to demonic possession and exorcism in early modern England. It offers modernized versions of the most significant early modern texts on nine cases of demonic possession from the period 1570 to 1650, the key period in English history for demonic possession. The nine stories were all written by eyewitnesses or were derived from eyewitness reports. They involve matters of life and death, sin and sanctity, guilt and innocence, of crimes which could not be committed and punishments which could not be deserved. The nine critical introductions which accompany the stories address the different strategic intentions of those who wrote them. The modernized texts and critical introductions are placed within the context of a wide-ranging general Introduction to demonic possession in England across the period 1550 to 1700.
The idea of people possessed by evil spirits against their will is as old as the hills. Often there is thought to be a special way a person has become possessed. It might be the result of a curse cast on them by a sorcerer, or some unfortunate mishap such as stepping over a dead body. Or the demons can have been invited, in a Satanic ritual. More often, at least in recent Christian tradition, there is no initiating moment that can be identified - they just find their way in, like disease. From Pearl Curran, a housewife living in St Louis, Missouri, who soared to fame in the second decade of the 20th century as the amanuensis of 'Patience Worth', a writer who had died in the 17th century, to victims of Dissociative Personality Disorder (thought to have inspired Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), this book examines demonic possession from every angle.
An innovative work of both economic anthropology and literary history, Arts of Possession draws on philosophical, theoretical, literary, historical, and archival sources and insights to situate the household at the center of the social and cultural imagination of fourteenth-century England. D. Vance Smith argues that in a period commonly represented as precapitalist there actually existed a sophisticated economic discourse -- and that discourse underlies common forms of representation and the writing of literary texts. His work provides a new historiography of capital and of the development of the relation between economic sophistication and cultural practices. Smith reads well-known and less-appreciated works -- such as Winner and Waster, Sir Launfal, The Canterbury Tales, and Piers Plowman -- for what they can tell us about the surpluses and economies that drew the medieval imagination, and about the complex ethics of possession at the heart of the fourteenth-century household. In bringing this to light, Smith's book itself becomes an eloquent meditation on the poetics and ethics of possession.
The book includes articles, documentation and a catalog of the Ethnographic Department of the Museum of the Contemporary. It is the fruit of a long-term project carried out at the Mamuta Art and Research Center and curated by the Sala-Manca Group. It contains articles by Yoram Bilu, Rachel Elior, Freddie Rokem and Diego Rotman on the Dybbuk; by Galit Hasan-Rokem and Daphna Ben-Shaul on Sukkot, and on the Eternal Sukkah project; by Shalom Sabar on electric Shabbat candles, and by Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman on different art projects. The book also includes documentation of artworks and a project by Itamar Mendes-Flohr, Yeshaiahu Rabinowtz, Ktura Manor, Hannan Abu Huseein, Reuven Zehavi, Sala-Manca, Samuel Rotman, Shira Borer, Nir Yahalom, Chen Cohen, Pessi Komar, Adi Kaplan, and Shahar Carmel, among others.
The spiritual status of the early modern child was often confused and uncertain, and yet in the wake of the English Reformation became an issue of urgent interest. This book explores questions surrounding early modern childhood, focusing especially on some of the extreme religious experiences in which children are documented: those of demonic possession and godly prophecy.