Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia

Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia

eBook - 1993
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Book News
Ten papers from a September 1989 symposium, Manipulation of Mystical Agency and Explanations of Personal Misfortune, held in Kent, England, and an introduction to the collection. Anthropologists describe the witches and sorcerers they have met in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sumatra, and elsewhere in southeast Asia, and explore their place in their various societies and belief systems. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
Witchcraft holds a perennial fascination for scholars and the public at large. In Southeast Asia malign magic and sorcery are part of the routine experience of villagers and urban dwellers alike, and stories appearing in the press from time to time bear witness to a persisting public concern.
The essays presented in this volume describe what people believe and what actions result from those beliefs. Not surprisingly, given the range and variety of cultures, considerable differences exist in the region. Among some cultures, in Thailand and Indonesia for example, sorcerers are said to possess spirits that empower them to cause illness and misfortune. Elsewhere, in Malaysia and Sumatra, the power of the dukun derives from the accumulation of arcane knowledge and mystical practice. Contributors describe the witches and sorcerers they have met and suggest both how their societies look upon them and how we in turn should regard them.
Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia will appeal to scholars and students of social anthropology and comparative religion. Its substantial contribution to theoretical and comparative issues in a Southeast Asian context provides a fresh perspective on a stimulating topic.

Publisher: Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, ©1993
ISBN: 9780585326733
Characteristics: 1 online resource (viii, 222 pages) : map
Additional Contributors: Ellen, R. F. 1947-
Watson, C. W.


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