Spirit Possession and Communication in Religious and Cultural Contexts  book cover
1st Edition

Spirit Possession and Communication in Religious and Cultural Contexts

Edited By

Caroline Blyth

ISBN 9780367654566
Published May 30, 2022 by Routledge
214 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Spirit Possession and Communication in Religious and Cultural Contexts explores the phenomenon of spirit possession, focusing on the religious and cultural functions it serves as a means of communication.

Drawing on the multidisciplinary expertise of philosophers, anthropologists, historians, linguists, and scholars of religion and the Bible, the volume investigates the ways that spirit possession narratives, events, and rituals are often interwoven around communicative acts, both between spiritual and earthly realms and between members of a community.

This book offers fresh insight into the enduring cultural and religious significance of spirit possession. It will be an important resource for scholars from a diverse range of disciplines, including religion, anthropology, history, linguistics, and philosophy.

Table of Contents


Caroline Blyth

1 Spirit Possession in the Bible

Anne Aalbers

2 Mental Illness and Demon Possession: Reading the New Testament

Anastasia Scrutton

3 The Ghosts of the Past Are the Demons of the Present: Evangelical Third Wave Deliverance as a Gothic Therapeutic

Sean McCloud

4 Ulu‘isino: Divine Possession and the Legitimation of Temporal Agency in Late Pre-Christian Tonga

Andy Mills

5 Spirit Mediumism in Shaanbei, North-Central China

Adam Yuet Chau and LIU Jianshu

6 Keeping it in the Family: Ancestral Talkback on Takū

Richard Moyle

7 Even Demons Cooperate: Imitation and Conceptual Convergence in Possession Narratives

Karen Dwyer

8 How Demons Speak: The Voice of Demonic Possession

Kirsty Rowan

9 Spirit Possession as a Source of Knowledge

Gregory W. Dawes


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Caroline Blyth is Senior Lecturer in Theological and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.