FREDERICK M. SMITH
The Self Possessed
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.
List Price: $74.99 (Final bulk discount pricing is based on quantity)
ISBN: 9780231510653
Uh oh. It looks like this title is out of stock.
Did you know eBooks never run out? It's true. We have millions of titles available right now. You can download an eBook in seconds.

Why eBooks are the Smart Way to Go

Deep bulk discounts and $0 in shipping costs means you save big with bulk eBooks. Plus, eBooks are typically cheaper than print books.
Distribute your eBooks via text message, email, social media, and more using redeemable eBook codes. Users can get their eBook instantly.
Receive Readership Analytics & Redemption Reports for proven engagement and user data, including name and email address.
Read from the convenience of our web reader or download the BookShout app on your favorite smart device to read anywhere.
Want to make the smart switch to eBooks? CLICK HERE
Not convinced yet? No problem. We can still get you the print books you need. Fill out the request form below and a member of our sales team will be in touch quickly.

Request Bulk Purchase:
Book Format*
Book Quantity*
How will the books be used?*


Interested in Gift Cards?
9780231510653 medium Bulk gift card c973c6294bb562c572cc09448c6304915953cb77b337c63c74b0d98ee2f3afc7
Benefits
Plastic Cards are standard Gift Card Size (3.375” x 2.125”). Cards can include scratch-offs over the redemption code. Cost less than distributing/shipping Print books. Great for Events, Churches, Schools, Authors, etc.