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Possession in contemporary cinema: Religious and psychological themes

Child, Louise ORCID: 2008. Possession in contemporary cinema: Religious and psychological themes. Diskus 9

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Recent scholarship on spirit possession has challenged arguments presented in former ethnographic and historical studies on the grounds that such studies apply a contemporary western academic perspective to phenomena found in societies historically and geographically distant from the contemporary west and its cultural assumptions. Prominent in these debates are questions about the reality of ancestors, deities and spirits, the relationship between spirit possession and the psychological and social circumstances of the medium, and the extent to which the medium and the spirits who speak through her have characteristics in common. There is, however, a context in which these questions are relatively under-explored, namely within the popular culture of the contemporary west itself. In this paper, therefore, I explore the portrayal of spirit possession in contemporary cinema, suggesting ways in which this material can be examined in the light of themes found in anthropological scholarship.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Publisher: British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR)
ISSN: 0967-8948
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 09:30

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