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Ongoing debates about the "return of religion" have paid little attention to the orgiastic and enthusiastic qualities of religiosity, despite a significant increase in the use of techniques of trance and possession around the globe. Likewise, research on religion and media has neglected the fact that historically the rise of mediumship and spirit possession was closely linked to the development of new media of communication.
This innovative volume brings together a wide range of ethnographic studies on local spiritual and media practices. Recognizing that processes of globalization are shaped by mass mediation, the volume raises questions such as: How are media like photography, cinema, video, the telephone, or television integrated in seances and healing rituals? How do spirit mediums connect with these media? Why are certain technical media shunned in these contexts?
"Trance Mediums and New Media is a highly significant intervention in the growing literature on religion and media. Unusual in its comparative, interdisciplinary character, the volume deals with a broad range of case-studies - including, amongst others, Sufi, Pentecostal, shamanic and Hindu communities - and drawn from geographical regions as diverse as Mali, Vietnam and Germany. The volume's editors and contributors probe the well-worn polarities of matter and spirit, artifice and nature, which frequently dominate studies of both religion and media. In place of these juxtapositions, the collection instead makes a persuasive argument for the complementary roles of both spiritual mediumship and new media in reconciling the not-so-distinct realms of nature and spirit." -- -Joel Cabrita University of Cambridge "The main theoretical issues - what is becoming of trance and trance mediums in the media saturated societies of today? And in extension of that question: what is becoming of 'the religious' and 'the mediatic'? - are challenging ones, and merit the in-depth exploration that this volume has on offer." -- -Mattijs van de Port University of Amsterdam "This is a highly original and thought-provoking addition to the study of the interrelations between media and religion. Geographically wide-ranging and well-informed both historically and theoretically, the volume explores affinities and synergies between technical mediation and spirit mediumship while also recognizing ruptures and limitations. It succeeds in developing alternatives to styling the encounter of media and mediums as one of modernity and tradition." -- Felicitas Becker University of Cambridge
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 1st December 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.3