The Red Thread

Possession at a Muslim Shrine in North India

Von Pfleiderer, Beatrix

Eigenverlag Konstanze Kampf, 2006. 256 S., Hardcover, engl., in englischer Sprache

ISBN: 978-81-87879-63-3

20,00 €

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This book is a collection of stories, that describe the paths that people chose to heal their lives, bodies, and relationships. It also describes the “accidents” on a social, physical, and emotional level that people experience and which cause the need for healing. The stories were experience and collected at a Muslim Pilgrimage Center of a Sufi (Suhrawardi) order in Gujarat. The field trips during which this material was collected took place between 1979 and 1982. Financial support came from the German Research Association and the University of Hamburg. For this book the author was awarded the Rabindranath Tagore Price of the German-Indo Society in 1996.

Beatrix Pfleiderer belongs to a rare brand of anthropologists who combine solid academic training with deep personal knowledge of non-ordinary states of consciousness, which is absolutely essential for any true understanding of the ritual and spiritual life of traditional cultures. Her book The Red Thread offers fascinating information evaluated from this unique perspective.
Stanislav Grof, M.D. Co-founder of Transpersonal Psychology
At last, a translation of Beatrix Pfleiderer’s important study of pilgrimage, trance and healing at the famous shrine of a Sufi saint. A medical anthropologist, and herself a curer, Dr. Pfleiderer’s ethnographic research in India, as well as her studies of Hindi films and popular culture, are sensitive and original. The present work has only been available in the German language until now. We are grateful now to have an English language edition.
Charles Leslie, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and the Humanities, University of Delaware
This book gives fascinating insights into the encounters of Beatrix Pfleiderer with women’s experiences of possession and trance. For the first time a Sufi shrine and a center of healing is explored through the narratives of patients and pilgrims. Her study presents a highly original methodological shift in understanding trance as performances of illness.
Helene Basu, Associate Professor of Anthropology. Freie Universität Berlin
This book is a stepping stone towards understanding indigenous method of treating mental diseases in the backdrop of Sufism.
Islam and Muslim Societies


(Hinweis: Die Bücher wurden ursprünglich vom Verleger von Indien zur Autorin nach Hawai'i verschifft und nach deren Tod wiederum von Hawai'i nach Deutschland. Die Bücherweisen deshalb zum Teil deutliche Lagerspuren auf!)


Pfleiderer, Beatrix

Beatrix Pfleiderer (1941-2011), Dr. phil., Medizinanthropologin. Professur für Ethnologie und Kulturwissenschaft Universität Hamburg (1982-1992), Gastprofessur University of Hawaii (1989-1991). 1978-1986 Forschungsaufenthalte in Indien. Entwickelte den TARA-Process, ein körperorientiertes therapeutisches Verfahren, hielt weltweit Vorträge und Trainings, Autorin u.a. von »Trance und Heilen in Indien« und »Die Kraft der Verbundenheit«, lebte auf Hawai´i.

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