Ghosts of ritual: yearning and utopia at the margins of the Chinese State (completed)
During her postdoctoral fellowship at the MPI, Mireille was writing a monograph on religious revivals and the aftermath of political violence in Southwest China. Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, both shamanic and Christian rituals have enjoyed a booming revival among the Nusu people of northwest Yunnan. However, contemporary Christianity is now gradually displacing indigenous shamanism. This displacement hinges on an ontological shift, from the many parallel dimensions and souls of Nusu animism to a vertically organized cosmos and the single eternal soul of the Christian doctrine. Ghosts of Ritual: Yearning and Utopia at the Margins of the Chinese State will explore the relationship between animism, Christian evangelism, and the Chinese Communist Party through ethnographic contexts that problematize belief, from everyday morality to death rituals and utopian movements.