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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Intimacy and alterity: prophetic selves and spirit others in central Mozambique
Author:Luedke, TracyISNI
Year:2011
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa (ISSN 0022-4200)
Volume:41
Issue:2
Pages:154-179
Language:English
Geographic term:Mozambique
Subjects:spirit possession
healers
prophets
faith healing
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157006611X569238
Abstract:In the context of Mozambican prophet healing, spirit-host relationships unfold between intimacy and alterity. The interweaving of spirits' and hosts' biographies in possession is enacted bodily in the form of pains, postures, and punishments, and often pits their wills and well-beings against one another. Spirit possession is an intimate exchange, a bodily and social confluence that invokes the most familiar of interpersonal relationships (spouses, parents and their children). On the other hand, the natures, motives, and agendas of the spirits often remain opaque. As prophets struggle to make sense and make use of the spirits who possess them, the power of the spirits reveals itself in their unknowability and contrariness, the elusiveness and partiality of their profiles. These intimate others both threaten and succor their hosts, to whom they are both kin and strangers, and it is through this dialectic that their special vantage on human suffering comes into view. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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