War Magic: Religion, Sorcery, and Performance
This compelling volume explores how war magic and warrior religion unleash the power of the gods, demons, ghosts, and the dead. Documenting war magic and warrior religion as they are performed in diverse cultures and across historical time periods, this volume foregrounds embodiment, practice, and performance in anthropological approaches to magic, sorcery, shamanism, and religion. The authors go beyond what magic ‘represents’ to consider what magic does. From Chinese exorcists, Javanese spirit siblings, and black magic in Sumatra to Tamil Tiger suicide bombers, Chamorro spiritual re-enchantment, tantric Buddhist war magic, and Yanomami dark shamans, religion and magic are re-evaluated not just from the practitioner’s perspective but through the victim’s lived experience. These original investigations reveal a nuanced approach to understanding social action, innovation, and the revitalization of tradition in colonial and post-colonial societies undergoing rapid social transformation.
About the Author
Douglas Farrer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guam. He is the author of Shadows of the Prophet: Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism (Springer), and co-author of Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World (SUNY).
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Aspirations, desires, opportunism and exploitation are seldom considered as fundamental elements of donor-driven development as it impacts on the lives of people in poor countries. Yet, alongside structural interventions, emotional or affective engagements are central to processes of social change and the making of selves for those caught up in development’s slipstream. Intimate Economies of Development lays bare the ways that culture, sexuality and health are inevitably and inseparably linked to material economies within trajectories of modernization in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. As migration expands and opportunities proliferate throughout Asia, different cultural groups increasingly interact as a result of targeted interventions and globalising economic formations; but they do so with different capabilities and expectations. This book uniquely grounds its arguments in interlocking details of people’s everyday lives and aspirations in developing Asia, while also engaging with changing social values and moral frameworks. Part and parcel of a widening landscape of mobility and contingent intimacy is the ever-present threats of infectious disease, most prominently HIV/AIDS, and human trafficking. Thus, impact assessment and targeted interventions aim to address negative consequences that frequently accompany infrastructure development and market expansion. This path-breaking book, drawn on more than 20 years of ethnographic research in the Mekong region, shows how current models of mitigation cannot adequately cope with health risks generated by wide-ranging entrepreneurialism and enduring structural violence as dreams of ‘the good life’ are relentlessly enmeshed in strategies of livelihood improvement.
About the Author
Chris Lyttleton is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Macquarie University, Australia.
About the Author
Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Mark Vallianatos is Research Coordinator at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Regina M. Freer is Associate Professor of Politics at Occidental College. Peter Dreier is E. P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.
This Study examines the transmission of ceremonial Dong Son bronze drums from their centres of production in north Vietnam and its immediate environs along river and maritime routes throughout Mainland and Island Southeast Asia (MSEA and ISEA) from the perspective of Late Metal Age (300 BC – AD 500) exchange networks. This period saw the growth of long-distance exchange linking MSEA and ISEA and involving the mainlamd to island transmission of bronze objects and casting technology. The distribution of ceremonial bronze drums associated with political/religious power along major routes marks contracts between early cultural spheres, and particularly possible alliances which would have favoured the exchange of commodities. The growth and progressive political significance of strategically located trade centres set the stage for the process of state formation during the historic period. Examining the distribution across present national boundaries, this study focuses on “what type of drums are found where” to identify different phases and routes of transmission associated with different inter-regional networks, interconnected cultural spheres, and regional bronze drum casting traditions arising from the influence of Dong Son drums.