Domestic Demons and the Intimate Uncanny  book cover
1st Edition

Domestic Demons and the Intimate Uncanny

ISBN 9780367221690
Published October 21, 2022 by Routledge
220 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores local cultural discourses and practices relating to manifestations and experiences of the demonic, the spectral and the uncanny, probing into their effects on people’s domestic and intimate spheres of life. The chapters examine the uncanny in a cross-cultural manner, involving empirically rich case studies from sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Europe. They use an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to show how people are affected by their intimate interactions with spiritual beings. While several chapters focus on the tensions between public and private spheres that emerge in the context of spiritual encounters, others explore what kind of relationships between humans and demonic entities are imagined to exist and in what ways these imaginations can be interpreted as a commentary on people’s concerns and social realities. Offering a critical look at a form of spiritual experience that often lacks academic examination, this book will be of great use to scholars of Religious Studies who are interested in the occult and paranormal, as well as academics working in Anthropology, Sociology, African Studies, Latin American Studies, Gender Studies and Transcultural Psychology.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Hedging in Demons and the Uncanny

Thomas G. Kirsch, Kirsten Mahlke, and Rijk van Dijk

2 The Familiar Spirit in Tales of Violent Labor Relationships: From Early Modern France to Agro-Industrial Argentina

Kirsten Mahlke

3 Collective Intimacy in Pentecostal Christianity

Thomas G. Kirsch

4 Science, Fantasy, and Desecration: Gorilla Demons in Colonial Gabon

Florence Bernault

5 From Witchcraft to Satanism: Changing Imaginations and New Experiences in the South African Lowveld

Isak Niehaus

6 Is Digital Memory Our New Demon? Notes on Surveillance and Vulnerability

Silvana Mandolessi

7 Marriage and the Ambiguities of ‘Seeds’: An Exploration of Intentions and Transparency in Relations in Botswana

Rijk van Dijk and Senzokuhle Doreen Setume

8 Zombies in the House: Thinking through the Spaces of Undead Transatlantic History

Gudrun Rath

9 Hedging in the Demonic: Living with the Dead in the United States

Ehler Voss

10 Afterword: Uncanny Modernities, Early and Late

Jean Comaroff

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Thomas G. Kirsch is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Kirsten Mahlke is Professor of Cultural Theory at the Department of Literature at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Rijk van Dijk is Professor of Religion in Contemporary Africa and its Diaspora at the African Studies Centre Leiden, Leiden University, the Netherlands.