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"Daniel is brilliant, and this work is the product of all his powers of imagination and expression. He is also a flawless scholar: bilingual, so that his translations are accurate; gifted, so that they are charming; well-read, so that his discussions are set in the full context of previous scholarship; and very, very funny, so that his depictions of the quandaries of his informants, as well as himself, are a joy to read."—Wendy O'Flaherty
How does an ethnographer write about violence? How can he make sense of violent acts, for himself and for his readers, without compromising its sheer excess and its meaning-defying core? How can he remain a scholarly observer when the country of his birth is engulfed by terror? These are some of the questions that engage Valentine Daniel in this exploration of life and death in contemporary Sri Lanka. In 1983 Daniel "walked into the ashes and mortal residue" of the violence that had occurred in his homeland. His planned project--the study of women's folk songs as ethnohistory--was immediately displaced by the responsibility that he felt had been given to him, by surviving family members and friends of victims, to recount beyond Sri Lanka what he had seen and heard there. Trained to do fieldwork by staying in one place and educated to look for coherence and meaning in human behavior, what does an anthropologist do when he is forced by circumstances to keep moving, searching for reasons he never finds? How does he write an ethnography (or an anthropography, to use the author's term) without transforming it into a pornography of violence? In avoiding fattening the anthropography into prurience, how does he avoid flattening it with theory? The ways in which Daniel grapples with these questions, and their answers, instill this groundbreaking book with a rare sense of passion, purpose, and intellect.
Jainism is arguably the most non-violent and austere religion in the world. While lay Jains attempt to never harm humans or animals, the strict non-violence followed by the highly revered monks and nuns also proscribes harm to any living being, even a microscopic organism. And while laywomen (and a few laymen) undergo long and difficult fasts, the longest being for one month, renouncers' austerities also include pulling their hair out by the roots two to five times a year, walking bare-foot throughout India most of the year, and, in the case of some monks, not wearing any clothing at all. Jainism: A Guide for the Perplexed is a clear and thorough account of this fascinating tradition, explaining many basic Jain values, beliefs and practices in the same way they are taught to Jains themselves, through the medium of sacred narratives. Drawing from Jainism's copious and influential narrative tradition, the author explores the inner-logic of how renouncers' and laypeople's values and practices depend on an intricate Jain worldview.
The Self Possessed is a multifaceted, diachronic study reconsidering the very nature of religion in South Asia, the culmination of years of intensive research. Frederick M. Smith proposes that positive oracular or ecstatic possession is the most common form of spiritual expression in India, and that it has been linguistically distinguished from negative, disease-producing possession for thousands of years. In South Asia possession has always been broader and more diverse than in the West, where it has been almost entirely characterized as "demonic." At best, spirit possession has been regarded as a medically treatable psychological ailment and at worst, as a condition that requires exorcism or punishment. In South (and East) Asia, ecstatic or oracular possession has been widely practiced throughout history, occupying a position of respect in early and recent Hinduism and in certain forms of Buddhism. Smith analyzes Indic literature from all ages-the earliest Vedic texts; the Mahabharata; Buddhist, Jain, Yogic, Ayurvedic, and Tantric texts; Hindu devotional literature; Sanskrit drama and narrative literature; and more than a hundred ethnographies. He identifies several forms of possession, including festival, initiatory, oracular, and devotional, and demonstrates their multivocality within a wide range of sects and religious identities. Possession is common among both men and women and is practiced by members of all social and caste strata. Smith theorizes on notions of embodiment, disembodiment, selfhood, personal identity, and other key issues through the prism of possession, redefining the relationship between Sanskritic and vernacular culture and between elite and popular religion. Smith's study is also comparative, introducing considerable material from Tibet, classical China, modern America, and elsewhere. Brilliant and persuasive, The Self Possessed provides careful new translations of rare material and is the most comprehensive study in any language on this subject.
Learn intervention strategies to counter the effects of terrorism In the twenty-first century, terrorism has become an international scourge whose effect devastates individuals, weakens societies, and cripples nations. The Trauma of Terrorism: Sharing Knowledge and Shared Care, An International Handbook and Shared Care provides a comprehensive, penetrating look at the effects of terrorism, at the prevention and treatment of immediate and long-term sequelae, at preparedness for terrorism, and at the range of individual, community, and national responses. International authorities discuss the latest knowledge and research about terror, its root causes, and its psychological impact on individuals, families, societies, and nations, as well as the societal and political responses and services that may help lessen its impact. The Trauma of Terrorism: Sharing Knowledge and Shared Care, An International Handbook analyzes the full scope of terrorism. This compendium explores numerous issues in detail, such as the nature and psychology of terrorism, how to foster a community’s capacity for resilience, the psychosocial consequences of terrorism in children and adults, the centrality of traumatic grief, the need for multicultural understanding in services and treatment, interventions for children and adolescents, training programs for mental health professionals, and proactive community organization in the face of terrorism. Treatment options and services are thoroughly explored and their effectiveness evaluated. Chapters are international in scope, well-referenced, and geared to provide thoroughly reasoned recommendations to lessen the effects of terrorism. Original witness voices from survivors and professionals worldwide give depth to the scientific character of the book. Helpful tables and graphs clearly illustrate data and ideas. The Trauma of Terrorism: Sharing Knowledge and Shared Care, An International Handbook presents in-depth examinations of: The Origins of Terrorism in Modern Society the origin and nature of terrorism terrorism as a strategy of psychological warfare the content and form of terrorism propaganda tactical and strategic terrorism the motivations of suicide bombers The Psychological Consequences of Terrorism the psychological impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks the PTSD effects of watching terrorist attacks on television the effects of acute stress symptoms on the general population after a national trauma somatization and bioterrorism the short- and long-term effects of terrorism on an individual the importance of measuring grief in the context of terrorism the psychological burden of bioterrorism the psychological impact of terrorism on children and families post-traumatic distress in adolescents with exposure to ongoing terrorism The Impact of Terrorism on Individuals, Groups, and Society terrorism’s toll on civil liberties media-oriented terrorism media guidelines for helping reduce individual and national traumatic reactivity to terrorism culture-sensitive interventions in the treatment of terrorism the effects of terrorism on refugees Psychological First Aid, Acute and Long-Term Treatment Following Terrorist Attacks mental health interventions in hospitals following terrorist attacks treating survivors in an ongoing terrorist situation the treatment of children impacted by the World Trade Center attack traumatic bereavement, and its link to terrorism School- and Community-Based Interventions in the Face of Terrorist Attacks the “Building Resilience” Project-school-based interventions for children community-based interventions like “Project Liberty” and
Capricious Worlds covers a period of 20 years of exile. Through the life journeys of Vietnamese refugees, the book presents a world rich in experience and wisdom, where the will to survive is complemented by the skills to do so. Individuals must learn to conquer systems that transform human beings into numbers, and men, women and children into de-personalized figures. The transformations render an unsettling peace that refugees struggle against, inspired by a search for recognition, a search not only for what is lost, but also for what might yet be. The book is about refugees en route to, and in, Norway. It also speaks to the challenges of being exiled in general: a reality for 40 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.

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