Body, Soul, Spirits and Supernatural Communication

This book provides a nuanced picture of the notions of body and soul held by the peoples of Europe through the soul concepts associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition and other religions and denominations; and the alternative traditions preserved alongside Christianity in folklore collections, linguistic and literary records. The studies also emphasize the connections between these notions and beliefs related to death and the dead, as well as questions of communication between the human world and the spirit world. The essays here focus on the roles notions of the soul and the spirit world play in the everyday life, religion and mentality of various communities; their folklore and literary representations, as well as the narrative metaphors, motifs, topoi and genres of ideas about the soul and about supernatural communication, along with questions of the relationship between narratives and religious notions.

This book will appeal to researchers and students of religion, mythology, folklore and the anthropology of religion, as well as general readers interested in the humanities.

Éva Pócs is Professor Emeritus and Principal Investigator of the ERC project “East-West” at the Institute of Ethnology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her research interests include the basic concepts of religious anthropology, such as the cult of the dead, divination, supernatural communication, witchcraft, fairy cult, shamanism, and the comprehensive analysis of modern folk religion and folk beliefs. She is the series editor of sourcebooks on early modern religion and the editor and co-editor of 31 volumes on the anthropology of religion and folklore, including Witchcraft and Demonology in Hungary and Transylvania (2017). She has 424 academic publications, of which 12 are books, including Fairies and Witches at the Boundary of South-Eastern and Central Europe (1989) and Between the Living and the Dead: a Perspective on Witches and Seers in the Early Modern Age (1998).

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ISBN: 1-5275-2231-8

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-2231-2

Release Date: 21st January 2019

Pages: 503

Price: £70.99