Mediumship as Ordinary Experience: An anthropological discussion of ordinary vs non-ordinary – What is the difference?
Using the study of mediumship (spirit possession) as a case study the chapter discusses the methodological differences between labelling an experience as ordinary or non-ordinary. In addition to challenging academic labelling the chapter puts forward the argument to opening the study of religious and spiritual experience in light of Peggy Morgan’s work. The first section looks back at the beginning of the academic study of experience and highlights the contribution of the early Oxford anthropologist R.R. Marrett. Comparing his work with Rudolf Otto’s theological approach it argues against limiting the study to ‘religious experience’. The second section presents the case of seeing mediumship as ordinary experience. Referring to Irving Hallowell’s concept of ‘other than human persons’ and Tim Ingold’s critique of agency it argues that an approach to experience as ordinary can further our understanding.
Keywords: mediumship; non-ordinary experience; ordinary experience; anthropology of religion; agency
The Journal for the Study of Religious Experience is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under theÂ Creative CommonsÂ Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 InternationalÂ License.
The copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors and the Journal for the Study of Religious Experience. Â Authors would need to request the reuse of the article in case they want to publish it elsewhere and they should acknowledge the initial publication in JSRE.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) a link to the Journalâ€™s website where the article may be downloaded for free.
Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables, etc. which are supplied from an outside source.