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Book: Ritual, Personhood and the New Animism

Chapter: Spirit Possession and Trance as Humpty Dumpty words: Reflection on Adjusted Styles of Communication

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.45201


In a contribution to Spirit Possession and Trance (2010), Graham Harvey proposed to re-use the abbreviation ASC for the phrase Adjusted Styles of Communication. While the definition of ASC remained unchanged and is still used for Altered States of Consciousness, Harvey’s proposal points to an important critique against the common approach to spirit possession and trance. Following his lead this chapter will propose a new approach to (spirit) possession that rejects pre-existing Western notions of spirits and highlights relationality as key to our understanding, i.e., the relation between persons of different species, humans and otherwise.

Chapter Contributors

  • Bettina Schmidt ([email protected] - bettinaschmidt) 'University of Wales Trinity St David'