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The Mind PossessedThe Cognition of Spirit Possession in an Afro-Brazilian Religious Tradition$
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Emma E. A. Cohen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195323351

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323351.001.0001

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 The Social Relevance of Spirits

 The Social Relevance of Spirits

(p.155) 8 The Social Relevance of Spirits
The Mind Possessed

Emma Cohen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 considers the relevance of spirits to everyday life (e.g. healing, counseling, etc.). It offers a generalizable explanation for the widespread attribution of personal misfortune to supernatural causes (e.g. divine retribution, sorcery, etc.). It is suggested that the widespread association between spirits (and other supernatural agents) and practices concerning healing and the betterment of life circumstances is supported by mechanisms of normal, human cognition that deal with social causation.

Keywords:   social causation, relevance, misfortune, supernatural causes, healing, sorcery

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