Druze Reincarnation in Fiction: Anīs Yaḥyà’s Novel "Jasad kāna lī" as a Source for Literary Anthropology
AbstractIn the Druze outlook, each human soul completes successive life-circuits as different human beings. If one of these human beings dies, the soul immediately migrates to the body of a newborn child. Normally, it is unknown who the soul was previously. However, in exceptional cases, mostly young children remember and “speak” about a previous life that usually came to an unexpected and tragic end. This also represents the backdrop of Anīs Yaḥyà’s novel Jasad kāna lī, which is set in a Druze context and revolves around a murder case and a little girl that remembers her death and names her murderer. The subject of transmigration is omnipresent in the novel. As this article seeks to show, this turns the novel into a highly relevant source for anthropological research into the Druze understanding of transmigration. The novel not only corroborates respective ﬁndings, but also complements them and thus contributes to a fuller understanding of the social and discursive presence of transmigration and “speaking” in Druze contexts. At the same time, anthropological research seems essential for a more profound understanding of this particular thematic dimension of the novel.
For content published in editions of JAIS before 2002, copyright belongs to the author. Content published between 2002 and 2017 is copyrighted by Edinburgh University Press (reproduced on FRITT with permission). Text and other material published in these journal volumes can only be shared and republished with written permission from the rights holders.
Starting from 2017, the content published in JAIS is - unless otherwise is stated - licensed through Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Through this licence content can be copied and distributed but also remixed, transformed and built upon for any purpose under the following conditions:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit to the creators of materials published in JAIS, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Notice: No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
Authors who publish in JAIS accept the following conditions:
Author(s) retains copyright to the article and give JAIS right to first publication while the article is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0. This license allows sharing the article for non-commercial purposes, as long as the author and first publishing place JAIS are credited. The license does not allow others to publish adapted versions of the article without the author's permission.
The author is free to publish and distribute the work/article after publication in JAIS, as long as the journal is referred to as the first place of publication. Submissions that are under consideration for publication or accepted for publication in JAIS cannot simultaneously be under consideration for publication in other journals, anthologies, monographs or the like. By submitting contributions, the author accepts that the contribution is published in both digital and printed editions of JAIS.