Unfolded Hands: Rejecting Ritual and Returning to Prayer

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Such people act with others in mind, while the witch acts with herself in mind, as she either nurses an animal to simultaneously replace a child and a parent, or decomposes other persons to transpose the effects of taking their lives onto her children. In either case, it collapses the unfolding relationships of the past and the future to create a present moment, where the singular figure of the witch reigns supreme. The Catholic majority of the area is proud of Father Dominic and tell his story as an epitome of his powers.

He thus acted with an unknown multitude of others in mind, which anticipated his work of bringing development maendeleo to the congregation and the community at large. Dominic is therefore an anti-witch, who brings development where the witch destroys it Myhre : — However, his power is also considered an effect of Christianity, which people say bestow the ability to vanquish witchcraft.

People hence tell his story to articulate how Christians can usurp evil and redirect destructive forces for good and constructive purposes. It is this dynamic that lends significance and urgency to the events at the church, when people discard witchcraft objects and remedies obtained from healers and diviners. Such an event is not only an occasion for ridding the community of destructive forces and influences, but a moment where these can be appropriated and turned around for common benefit. Powers that mark the limits of production, reproduction, and consumption are on these occasions folded in and reoriented as forces that enable the extension of dwelling and life in time and space.

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Thus, where witchcraft unfolds from dwelling and life, Christianity enfolds witchcraft to afford dwelling and life. It is this dynamic and process that draw large crowds to these events, where people come to participate in Mass and take part in efforts to turn the destructive into something constructive. It is not discredited as an occult illusion, but excoriated as a means and mode for people to relate to each other and the world they inhabit.

Like evil, witchcraft is not something that can be overcome or transcended, but an ever-present potential that constitutes the limit of life. Each case confirms how Catholics engage in witchcraft or visit healers, whom the Pentecostalists consider witches in their own right. To them, these stories and events therefore do not concern the immanent power of religion, but rather how Catholicism is not a true form of Christianity.

It is corroborated or reinforced by the way in which Catholics butcher animals for the deceased whom they present with shares of meat, beer, and milk on different occasions. In the eyes of the Pentecostalists and other evangelicals, these acts constitute worship of other deities, in which they refuse to participate. In doing so, they set themselves apart and withdraw from the transfers and transformations of horu that these activities involve, which render them suspect as potential witches in the eyes of Catholics.

They hence risk consorting sexually with close relatives and thus to engage in incestuous forms of sexuality, which underscores the suspicions that surround their faith and practices. It is instructive that the Catholics conceive of Pentecostal practices as a warped or inverted form of sex where horu flows in destructive ways, while the evangelicals conceive of Catholic practices as an anathema that must be castigated and rejected, even if it entails restricting or avoiding interaction and engagement. Both conceptions trace limits of social life, but in different ways that structure their engagements.

To the Catholics, their counterpart is something to be appropriated, encompassed, and turned around, while for the Pentecostalists it is something to be refused, renounced, and denied. Accordingly, Catholics often attempt to accommodate evangelicals, for instance by not stating invocations over animals before they are butchered or cutting their throats instead of suffocating them.

They may also refrain from placing shares of meat or pouring milk and beer on the ground for deceased relatives, especially during large ceremonial occasions that require broad participation. Pentecostalists, meanwhile, refuse to eat meat or drink milk if they suspect that these acts were performed, and instead largely engage with the Catholic majority through proselytization and attempts at conversions. One particular Pentecostal pastor can therefore be seen most days, as he is diverted on his way to other activities and held up in animated attempts to convince someone of the wrongs and evils of Catholicism.

His steadfast attempts at conversion even include his three brothers, whom he still tries to convert, undeterred by more for than a decade of failure. Thus, where witchcraft unfolds from dwelling and life, Catholics seek to enfold and turn it around, while the Pentecostalists attempt to banish and expel it. However, the efforts of each appear suspect in the eyes of the other, where it resembles rather than differs from that which they oppose. These connections appear less strange when one remembers that all these phenomena concern life and regard modes of being.

In the case of witchcraft, they involve the conversions and conveyances of horu that afford human, animal, and vegetative being, while for the Catholics and evangelicals they regard the existence of a sinful being and its potential for eternal life. Where the latter differ is with regards to the means and requirements for the salvation of this being. Joel Robbins : points out that Pentecostal Christianity is structured around the notion of transformation, which commonly involves a rupture or break akin to the refusal to engage in certain activities in Rombo. In fact, one may argue that all of Christianity turns on a concept of transformation, where a transcendent deity assumes a human form, whose death affords eternal life for those who follow him.

Moreover, the funeral liturgy of both denominations proclaims that the earthly life of those followers arises from and reverts to ashes and dust, or soil udongo as it is rendered in Swahili. The Catholics of Rombo are obsessed with the Eucharist, which they consider a necessary component of every act of worship. They therefore lament when a funeral is conducted by lay-clergy, who is not allowed to give the Eucharist, and decry that those who fall foul of the church are punished through the denial of Communion.

On this basis, one may argue that the two denominations fold out of each other, as they turn on different attempts at dealing with witchcraft. While witchcraft unfolds from dwelling and life, Catholicism and Pentecostalism unfold from each other as two antithetical attempts at reacting and relating to witchcraft. Pentecostalism thus unfolds from witchcraft, yet collapses back into it in its encounter with Catholicism. The result is a set of situational folding movements or transformational moments that draw different limits of a life that itself assumes a transformational form.

Indeed, it is the unfolding character of these transformations that allow vernacular conceptions, such as witchcraft, to encompass and include new forms of wealth and Christian denomination, in the manner that has long posed a conundrum for analysts cf. Geschiere Thus, the Comaroffs claim to center on the plight of young men in the rural north of South Africa, but in fact range widely and effortlessly to encompass a multitude of phenomena. Like the media reports of the albino murders that recycle photos of unidentified persons and places to illustrate different incidents, the Comaroffs endeavor to describe a general experience and therefore hardly name or involve specific persons Moore : Gilbert : Indeed, as their analytic has come to circulate along with the phenomena it concerns, the concept itself comes to resemble a commodity that flows beyond its origins of production cf.

Strathern a : As it is ever-more widely cited and applied, the concept assumes by its own criteria an occult character. They dwell on how anatomical features and bodily substances are horu in different forms that may be detached and deployed for the purpose of particular effects.

Unlike the occult economies, this concept of witchcraft does not float free but unfolds from particular relationships that constitute a mode of life that assumes a specific form. The media reports moreover reveal that the albino murders involved body parts that form part of these processes and dynamics. Arms and genitalia featured, for instance, which in Rombo convey and convert the life-force that assumes the forms of blood and semen, or the bride wealth that circulates as foodstuffs and people between homesteads Myhre As these dictates arrived from national and regional authorities and trickled through the local government, the increasing demands and needs for money were experienced as extractions of life-force that pulled people apart.


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The concept of horu entails that these events and practices are neither magical nor mysterious, but material and practical interventions in dwelling and life that affect the modes of being of those involved. They belong to a world where all that exists is horu in some form, and hence is a transformation of something else. In such a world, life itself is vulnerable and prone to transformation, which assumes a form where body-parts are used as forms of life-force, deployed as tools for its conversion, or used to nourish an animal counterpart that can be used to harm others.

Like in the epigraph above, these engagements emerge as alternatives embodied in life itself, which affirms its existence as a concern for the transfers and transformations of horu. Witchcraft then not only constitutes the end of dwelling and life, but outlines the limit of an anthropology preoccupied with representation. On this account, the concern of witchcraft is with modes of being and not-being, whose intensities these events and experiences evince and convey cf. Favret-Saada : Accordingly, its character as an action upon action differs from the idea of representation, where one form of action comments on another Strathern b : Representation is obviously a concern for a discipline that describes and reproduces social life in other forms, but it does not follow that it holds the same interest and urgency for those with whom we work.

Indeed, shedding our capacity for extending this idea to the notions and practices we encounter may expand our ability to conceptualize and represent life. Losing this limb, as it were, can effectuate its own mode of transformation, as it allows vernacular actions to act on our practices and redirect our representational powers. It requires, however, that we leave behind the presumption that one is a representation of the other, and instead allow ourselves to be bewitched and our hand severed, so that our perspective can be expanded.

BBC News. Tanzania in witchdoctor crackdown. European Parliament resolution of September 4, on the killing of albinos in Tanzania. Albinos live in fear after body part murders. The Guardian. Albino girl killed for witchcraft. Accessed November 10, Sky News Our conversation took place in Swahili, which the Catholic Church uses for both administrative and liturgical purposes.

The terms in parentheses in this and the next paragraph are therefore Swahili terms used by the priest, which are cognates of Chagga terms that they are used interchangeably with in the everyday discourse of villagers. Such initiatives are irregular events that occur on the order of the bishop and the diocese, but are organised by the parish. Thanks for your help. Dfe said this on April 19, at 3: Remember also, unless someone is the prophet Isaiah, they are not going to get direct Words from God about who to marry.

God expects us to go to the bible and find out what is right and wrong, and then obey it. Then the right person will be someone who matches our personality, and has some morals, and does not act like these guys. God would never want us to be fooling around with men who are married, or in a current relationship. That is called adultery. All the spiritual talk in the world is not going to justify bad decisions, made out of selfish desire.

He is gone because he wants to be gone. You need to get on with your life. You got stung, and you need to recover. Hoping to get him back will only make things worse. Marianne said this on April 19, at I have stopped talking to that friend completely, and I have been healing. It took alot of renewing my mind, but I got through it. I had to totally renew my mind about God and the way that He does things according to His Word.


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This prayer is very helpful as well. Dfe said this on April 19, at I have one more question.

“Crossing over” to immortality in the Daoist ritual regulations of highest purity

Even thought I do not want to be with my ex, I have this strange thing happening to me that I have battled for months now. Even though I have no feelings for him, I feel alot of anxiety when I think of living without him, almost like I need him. This is scary because I cannot analyze where it is coming from. When I think of my future without him, I am stricken with fear and anxiety. I am worn out from trying to figure out why. I have grieved over him, thinking that was the problem.

I know he is gone and that he was horrible to me, yet I get afraid when I think of the future without him. It is nothing I have ever encountered before. If you recall, this was the relationship where the guy told me that God said I was his wife initially and would say that to keep me from leaving. Dfe said this on April 20, at When praying the prayers against witchcraft, is it necessary to specify the kind of witchcraft you may be dealing with i. Dfe said this on April 21, at 8: Marianne said this on April 22, at 2: Marianne, I believe I am under some witchcraft from the friend that was telling me I should wait for the ex boyfriend to come back.

I spoke to someone last night who was in close relationship with her, and the person confirmed that she operates in th Spirit of Jezebel. After we got off the phone, the woman sent my friend a message. Also, I had alot of trouble sleeping last night and have felt weak and have not felt like eating today.

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