Spirit Possessions and Avenging Ghosts

Veena Das, Arthur Kleinman, Margaret Lock, Mamphela Ramphele and Pamela Reynolds

in Remaking a World

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223295
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924857 | DOI:
Spirit Possessions and Avenging Ghosts

Show Summary Details


This chapter deals with two interrelated issues related to supernatural activity. It first describes and places in perspective the appearance of certain narratives that illustrate two different categories of supernatural experiences, namely ghost stories and narratives of spirit possession. Next, it tries to understand the role some aspects of traditional spirit religion and ritual play in the context of postterror Sri Lanka. This chapter also puts in context how certain aspects in the construction of the self vary between “normal” and altered states of consciousness, and how such variations are directly connected to the victims' perceptions of revenge and justice.

Keywords: supernatural activity; supernatural experiences; ghost stories; spirit possession; traditional spirit religion; ritual; postterror; construction of the self; altered states of consciousness; revenge and justice

Chapter.  18960 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.