Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Trance Mediums and New MediaSpirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Heike Behrend, Anja Dreschke, and Martin Zillinger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823253807

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823253807.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022



Trance Mediums and New Media

(p.1) Introduction
Trance Mediums and New Media

Heike Behrend

Martin Zillinger

Fordham University Press

Ongoing debates about the “return of religion” have paid little attention to the orgiastic and enthusiastic qualities of religiosity, despite a significant increase in the use of techniques of trance and possession around the globe. Likewise, research on religion and media has neglected the fact that historically the rise of mediumship and spirit possession was closely linked to the development of new media of communication. In order to invoke the transcendental, to make otherworldly beings and powers appear, trance mediums need to make dispositions and take great care in preparing a setting conducive to their work of mediation. Their equipment includes technical media, apparition and apparatus are linked through ritual techniques. Likewise, the discourses and the imaginary of trance mediumship powerfully anticipated and shaped technical media such as photography, cinema, the telephone, and television. Spirits and their mediums served as the media a priori for the ‘‘invention’’ of these technical media: spirits were able to ‘‘telesee’’ and ‘‘telehear’’ long before television and the telephone existed. Inquiry into trance mediumship, therefore, forms an interpretative key to understanding technical media, and vice versa.

Keywords:   Heike Behrend, Martin Zillinger, Trance, Spirit possession, Mediumship, Media and religion, Religion studies, Media, New media, Media anthropology, Spirituality, Ecstatic practices, Ciné-trance

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .