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Christian Suhr

Islamic exorcism and the cinema fist: Analyzing exorcism among Danish Muslims through the prism of film

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In this article I apply film theory as an analytic prism through which to examine the ritual mechanisms of a particular kind of Islamic exorcism (al-ruqya al-sharʿiyya). I show how these exorcisms operate as a ritual montage that conjures the absent presence of al-ghayb—a hidden world of power that only God can see in its totality and to which the possessed patients and the jinn spirits must succumb. These exorcisms thus provide healing, not in the sense of immediate “well-being” or “relief from pain” but in the sense of moral witnessing, an opportunity to testify to the limits of human seeing and action and to the ways in which invisible and divine forces give shape to the tangible world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Islam
Volume13
Issue1
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
ISSN1872-0218
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

E-Pub

    Research areas

  • Islamic exorcism, spirit possession, jinn, al-ruqya al-sharʿiyya, ritual theory , cinema, the invisible

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