1st Edition

Spirit Possession and Communication in Religious and Cultural Contexts

Edited By Caroline Blyth Copyright 2021
    214 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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



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