Fouad Gehad Marei presented a working paper on ‚From the Throes of Anguished Mourning: Shi‘i Ritual Lamentation and the Pious Publics of Lebanon‘

Drawing on an analysis of Shi‘i ritual lamentation in Lebanon, this article examines how religious actors and pious publics employ literary, recitational, theatrical and socio-technological methods to cultivate imaginal engagements with the other-worldly. These methods are analysed, demonstrating how they locate pious Shi‘is in religious metanarratives which transcend the linearity of time and take place in the Elsewhere and the here-and-now, simultaneously. I argue that this produces transposable and lasting dispositions which constitute the Shi‘i self, immerses subjects in this-worldly-oriented modes of religiosity and bestows upon Shi‘i politics and the imagined community a profound emotional legitimacy. I posit that cultivated engagements with the Elsewhere are constitutive experiences in modes of religiosity which emphasise the symbiosis between human action and metaphysical intervention, thus complicating the question of agency and intentional action.

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