Dimitris Xygalatas in Aeon Magazine

Dimitris Xygalatas’s recent piece on ritual suffering in Aeon Magazine:

Kavadi
Trial by fire:
From fire-walking to the ice-bucket challenge, ritual pain and suffering forge intense social bonds

On the Day of Ashura, Shia Muslims around the world gather to mourn the Imam, Husayn ibn Ali, and his defeat in the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq) in 680AD. They slash their heads and backs using swords or iron chains with blades until the streets are covered in blood…