The Law of Possession
Ritual, Healing, and the Secular State
Edited by William S. Sax and Helene Basu
William S. ('Bo') Sax has taught at Harvard, Christchurch, and Heidelberg, where he is Chair of Cultural Anthropology at the South Asia Institute.
Helene Basu studied social anthropology at the Free University Berlin where she earned a PhD in 1993. She is currently director of the Institute of Social Anthropology at Münster University.
Helene Basu studied social anthropology at Free University Berlin where she earned the PhD in 1993. She taught anthropology at Free University Berlin, Heidelberg University and the University of Iowa and is currently director of the Institute of Social Anthropology at Münster University. She holds the position of Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence for "Religion and Politics in Pre-Modern and Modern Cultures" at WWU. Her publications include Journeys and Dwellings - Indian Ocean Themes in South Asia (ed.), Von Barden und Königen: Ethnologische Studien zur Göttin und zum Gedächtnis, Embodying Charisma (co-edited with Pnina Werbner). She is co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
Bhargavi Davar, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Advocacy in Mental Health, India. She has consistently engaged with social science themes in their relation to "mental health", including gender, culture, caste, poverty, disability and Development. Her publications include, Psychoanalysis as a Human Science (with PR Bhat), Mental Health of Indian Women, [Ed.] Mental Health from a Gender Perspective, and Gendering Mental Health: Knowledges, Institutions and Identities.
Aditya Malik is Professor and Dean in the School of Historical Studies at the newly established Nalanda University. He was trained in philosophy, archaeology, history, social anthropology and religious studies at St. Stephen's College (Delhi), Deccan College (Pune) and the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg (Germany) where he received his Ph.D. and Habilitation (professorial degree). He has been Head of Religious Studies at the University of Canterbury (2002-2004), Senior Fellow of the German Research Council (Heidelberg), Visiting Faculty, Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University (Jerusalem), Visiting Professor, University of Delhi, and Fellow at the Max-Weber-Centre for Advanced Social Science Research (Erfurt). He was founding Deputy Director of the New Zealand South Asia Research Centre (NZSAC) and is Associate Director of the New Zealand India Research Institute (NZIRI). He has over 40 publications including books, edited volumes, articles and book chapters on South Asia concerning pilgrimage; oral traditions, ritual embodiment and performance; religion, law and justice; medieval and contemporary historiography; secularism, religion and modernity. He most recently published Vol. 2 of The Sage Handbook of Hinduism in India (2015).
Ferdinand Okwaro is a Kenyan-born social anthropologist with a PhD obtained from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He has conducted research on a wide range of topics including ritual healing, modernity, bioethics, and social marketing. In his work, Okwaro employs ethnography in diverse fields and contexts, from ritual healing clients in African villages and cities to clinical trials scientists and their participants in biomedical research institutions to show the influence of global processes on local practices as well as to critique the reified interpretations of global change that assume rather than demonstrate the uniformity of social change. Focusing on the local level, Okwaro's work demonstrates how globalization, rather than produce uniformity, generates a whole new pattern of diversified responses at regional, national and local levels. Okwaro is currently working on a project on the ethnography of biomedical research in East Africa.
Johannes Quack is Professor and Chair of Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Zurich. Quack is the author of Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. He co-edited the volumes The Problem of Ritual Efficacy, Religion und Kritik in der Moderne, and Asymmetrical Conversations: Contestations, Circumventions and the Blurring of Therapeutic Boundaries. His fields of study include: Popular Hinduism, Medical Anthropology (Mental Health), the Anthropology of Religion, Secularism and Non-religion, and Ritual Theory.
William S. ('Bo') Sax has taught at Harvard, Christchurch, and Heidelberg, where he is Chair of Cultural Anthropology at the South Asia Institute. He has published numerous books and articles on religion, theatre, and healing in South Asia generally, and the western Himalayas in particular.
Dominic Steavu is Assistant Professor of Chinese Religions at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in early medieval to medieval Daoism and Buddhism in China. His research centers on the interaction between material culture on one hand and religious institutions and practices on the other.
Arne S. Steinforth gained his PhD in Social Anthropology from the Westfälische Wilhelms-University of Münster (Germany). Over the past years, his work has addressed various topics including medical diversity, mental disorder, power, authority, and legitimacy, as well as cosmologies and the occult. At present, he teaches anthropology at York University in Toronto (Canada).