Spirited Things: The Work of Possession in Afro-Atlantic Religions by The University of Chicago Press (Hardback, 2014)
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- DescriptionThe word possession is trickier than we often think, especially in the context of the Black Atlantic and its religions and ecomy. Here possession can refer to spirits, material goods, and, indeed, people. In Spirited Things, Paul Christopher Johnson gathers together essays by leading anthropologists in the Americas to explore the fascinating nexus found at the heart of the idea of being possessed. The result is a book that marries one of anthropology's foundational concerns - spirit possession - with one of its most salient contemporary ones: materiality. The contributors reopen the concept of possession in order to examine the relationship between African religions in the Atlantic and the ecomies that have historically shaped-and continue to shape-the cultures that practice them. They explore the way spirit mediation is framed both by material things-including plantations, the Catholic church, the sea, and the telegraph-as well as the legacy of slavery. In doing so, they offer a powerful new concept for understanding the Atlantic world and its history, creation, and deeply complex religious and political ecomy.
- Author BiographyPaul Christopher Johnson is professor of history and Afroamerican and African studies and director of the Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is the author of Secrets, Gossip, and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Candomble and Diaspora Conversions: Black Carib Religion and the Recovery of Africa.
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication23/05/2014
- SubjectReligion: Comparative, General & Reference
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Note11 halftones
- Weight599 g
- Width90 mm
- Height60 mm
- Spine25 mm
- Edited byPaul Christopher Johnson
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