science and criminology. As the contributions to this volume show, the corpse is not always the end of the
story. On the contrary, as we shall see, a corpse still holds the power
to stir up more death.
The overall argument is that the brutal treatment of corpses
transgresses the spheres of national security politics and the simple spread of terror. Corpses are instead seen as a social force that
enchants politics and socialises religion. They make the past present
and foresee possible futures. Drawing on popular Catholic practices
those who died ‘bad’ deaths, for example through suicide or murder, are destined to wander aimlessly as ‘hungry ghosts’ or ‘beggar
spirits’ if they are forgotten by their descendants.24 If unappeased,
these spirits can wreak havoc upon the prospects of living relatives.
To counter this, rituals have to be performed to ease their way in the
underworld. In Malaysia, Buddhist rites, Taoist rituals, Confucian
teachings, and local pagan customs have melded into a unique
Chinese religion of sorts.25 Despite this, the conduct of funeral and
post-funeral rites continue
monopolised wartime attention, while other anthropologists documented how
shifting borders and border crossings had had unpredictable effects on inhabitants’
production of identity, affiliations and moral maps in ways that often unsettled
identity markers like religion, ethnicity and nationality and their political connotations (Ballinger 2003; Pelkmans 2006). As Pelkmans (2006: 73) notes for
neighbourhoods caught up in the reconfiguration of the Turkish–Soviet border,
‘discontent focused on more subtle differences that only became obvious in faceto-face communication
Tracing relatedness and diversity in the Albanian–Montenegrin borderland
is not surprising
that the genealogies and conversations I recorded described migrations across the
old border to the Ottoman territory – as in the case of the Vukičević – and uses
them to legitimise the transformation of ethnic and religious identity in the region
up to the present day.
‘This was Turkey, you know’, my interlocutors kept on repeating, highlighting
that conversion cannot undo kinship relations. Marko Karadaglić explained his
view of the conversion of the Paljević as follows: ‘They accepted this new religion,
but they remained our relatives. Their
to power plays of varying intensity, and how they call an entire society into question. These motivations may arise in connection with identity and remembrance, with
familial or collective ties, with politics, but also, let us not forget,
with religions. Studying these motives and interests, then, considerably illuminates a society’s functioning after the catastrophe and the
slow construction of a collective mourning process. These issues also
address the emergence of the symbolic and legal status of corpses, a
central point for all of the studies. They call for
an extreme melancholic attachment to what is lost appears less compelling. A clear East/West mapping of culture area is confounded, of
course, by the fact that some Christian sects and New Age groups in
the West also believe in reincarnation, as do many Native Americans,
for example, the Inuits and other indigenous peoples.
Abandonment and victory
The point here is that the absence of a strong doctrine of reincarnation in the Semitic monotheistic religions, and thus in the West
generally, confronts the individual and groups there with their own
The status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide
Anne Yvonne Guillou
foundation myth of the
capital, Phnom Penh, the precious pottery buried in certain locations
which, according to legend, reveals itself to human eyes in order that it
might be ‘borrowed’.
This expression has been identified by Fabienne Luco in his ongoing
doctoral thesis in anthropology.
This old woman may have been a former Khmer Rouge low-rank cadre
herself. I have not yet been able to verify this, however, because she lives
in a different village from the one where I stay and where everybody
knows each other.
C. Ang, Les Êtres surnaturels dans la religion populaire
Towards atypology of the treatment of corpses of ‘disappeared detainees’ in Argentinafrom 1975 to 1983
cultural model – in line with Hinton’s analysis of genocide in
Cambodia18 – that belonged to the nineteenth century, but was
successfully adapted to the context of the Cold War in Argentina.
The Argentine military sphere was a social space in which
Catholicism had a significance of its own,19 which went beyond its
own particular domain20 (namely a belief in the supernatural). For
the Argentine military, religion upheld a sense of social and political
order, and created a historical teleology. Thanks to the persistent
and prolonged work of the indoctrinators, the
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa
, 2003); TRC,
Report, vol. 3, ch. 2; Anthony Minnaar, Conflict and Violence in Natal/
Kwazulu: Historical Perspectives (Pretoria: Human Sciences Research
Mbembe, ‘Necropolitics’, p. 24.
TRC, Report, vol. 2, pp. 463–9, 605–10.
Ibid., p. 222.
5/15/2014 12:51:27 PM
Apartheid South Africa 223
Louise Flannagan, ‘Covert operations in the Eastern Cape’, in C.
Schutte, I. Liebenberg & A. Minnaar (eds), The Hidden Hand: Covert
Operations in South Africa (Pretoria: HSRC, 1998), pp. 213–22.
Ashis Nandy, ‘Coming home: religion
The violent pursuit of cultural sovereignty during authoritarian rule in Argentina
Antonius C.G.M. Robben
nation’s cultural tradition was besieged by a guerrilla insurgency
and a revolutionary ideology, thus challenging its political and cultural sovereignty with arms and ideas. According to the military,
the Argentine state was endangered by infiltration and armed violence supported by foreign communist regimes, while the nation’s
Western, Christian heritage was being corroded by revolutionary
beliefs that did away with the nuclear family and paternal authority
as bourgeois, private property as the exploitation of the proletariat,
religion as an alienating ideology and