Spirit Possession in Brazil: The Perception of the (possessed) Body

Schmidt, Bettina (2014) Spirit Possession in Brazil: The Perception of the (possessed) Body. Anthropos, 109 (1). pp. 135-147. ISSN 0257-9774

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Abstract

Spirit possession is the core religious practice in most Afro- American religions. It is usually described as "mounting"; the spirit "rides" the body of the devotee as a horseman rides a horse. The description projects the image that a spirit takes control over the body of the medium and "uses" the human medium; the body of the person is passive and submissive, while the spirit is active and dominant. However, this view does not reflect the highly elaborate discourse about spirit possession in Brazil. The article is based on fieldwork among communities of Afro-Brazilian and Spiritist traditions in São Paulo, Brazil. Based on subjective narratives about bodily experience and the academic debate about body and mind, the article contributes to a wider understanding of the possession experience.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brazil , spirit possession, trance, candomblé, umbanda, spiritism, body concept, mediumship
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities
Depositing User: Bettina Schmidt
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 13:39
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 13:39
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1763

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