• Political Evil: Witchcraft from the Perspective of the Bewitched

    Author(s):
    Sonia Silva (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Indigenous Studies, Religious Studies
    Subject(s):
    Africa, Anthropology, Religion and violence, Violence, Witchcraft
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Evil, Political Power, witch
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6K57S
    Abstract:
    Instead of asking what evil is, let us see where evil takes us. Based on many conversations on the topic of witchcraft in northwest Zambia, Africa—conversations in which witchcraft is presented from the perspective of the bewitched—the concept of evil takes us to a ghastly realm of destruction and transfiguration where the discourse of morality feels lacking and out of place. This is an ontological realm where humans metamorphose into wild animals, beasts, even monsters. This idea of evil as excess with an ontological weight should be taken a step further: the shift from the moral to the ontological gives rise to highly systematic, often ritualized processes of interpersonal predation, which leads, if not curbed, to suffering and death. In the movement from bad to evil, the process of systematic dehumanization of one by another is unleashed, reducing humans to the conditions of predators and prey. The movement from morality to ontology is also a movement from morality to absolute violence.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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