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Message posted on 05/08/2020

Religious Healing and Sacred Health Curing: Online Documentary Film Program and Debate (week 3)

Webinar Registration


Religious Healing and Sacred Health Curing: Online Documentary Film Program and Debate (week 3)


Please join our third biweekly webinar (8 August 2020), documentary film presentation and debate organized by the Network of the Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia of EASA in collaboration with the Religion and Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University.

Introduction to the program by Dr. P. Khosronejad (Western Sydney University), debate by researcher and filmmaker Dr. Christian Suhr (Aarhus University), and discussant Dr. Paola Esposito (University of Oxford).

Film presentation

Descending with Angels Christian Suhr, 2013, 75 minutes, Denmark.


Islamic exorcism or psychotropic medication? Descending with Angels explores two highly different solutions to the same problem: namely Danish Muslims who are possessed by invisible spirits, called jinn.

A Palestinian refugee living in the city of Aarhus has been committed to psychiatric treatment after a severe case of jinn possession which caused him to destroy the interior of a mosque, crash several cars, and insult a number of people. He sees no point in psychotropic medication since his illness has already been treated with Quranic incantations. A psychiatrist and nurse try to understand his point of view but find that even further medication is needed. In the meantime a local imam battles a stubborn jinn-spirit of Iraqi origin and tries to explain the Muslims of Aarhus that they should stop worrying so much about jinn, magic, and other mundane affairs since nothing can harm anyone except by the permission of God.

The film compares two systems of treatment that despite vast differences both share a view of healing as operating through submission of faith to an external non-human agency namely God or psychotropic medicine. After the film, a debate with the presence of the filmmaker. A link will be provided to all participants after the introduction debates to watch the film online or via screen sharing through the moderators screen.

This webinar will be held on Zoom.

Time August 8, 2020 10:00 AM London



Dr. Pedram Khosronejad | Adjunct Professor

Religion and Society Research Cluster | School of Social Sciences

E: P.Khosronejad@westernsydney.edu.au

Fellow | Department of Anthropology | Harvard University

| Chief Editor, Anthropology of the Contemporary MiddleEast and Central Eurasia, SeanKingston.

| Series Editor, The Anthropology of Persianate Societies, SeanKingston.

| Series Editor, Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies, LIT Verlag.


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