Death & Life

Local Conceptions of
Reincarnation among the

Druzes in the Middle East
FWF Stand-Alone Project P28736

Local Conceptions of
Reincarnation among the

Druzes in the Middle East
FWF Stand-Alone Project P28736

Bookcover / Ansicht des Buchumschlags
Impressions from the project reader, published in July 2021:
Dome in the five-color combination typical for the Druze. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Cover illustration: The dome of a burial site in the typical five-color combination of the Druze (Shūf mountains, Lebanon).
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
Contested by nation states: The Hermon mountain range (jabbal ash-shaykh) in the midst of Druze settlement areas. Photo taken in the southern Biqāʿ plain, Lebanon. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 2: Contested by nation states: The Hermon mountain range (jabbal ash-shaykh) in the midst of Druze settlement areas. Photo taken in the southern Biqāʿ plain, Lebanon.
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
The tomb of Sitt Shaʿwāna: A Druze pilgrimage site in the Golan Heights. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2017.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 3: The tomb of Sitt Shaʿwāna: A Druze pilgrimage site in the Golan Heights.
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2017.
The Druze star in the typical five-color combination. Votive offering inside the burial chamber of a pilgrimage site, Shūf mountains, Lebanon. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 4: The Druze star in the typical five-color combination. Votive offering inside the burial chamber of a pilgrimage site, Shūf mountains, Lebanon.
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
An olive tree deemed sacred at a Druze pilgrimage site in the Shūf mountains, Lebanon. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 5: An olive tree deemed sacred at a Druze pilgrimage site in the Shūf mountains, Lebanon.
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2016.
The Druze settlement Bayt Jann, the secret capital in northern Israel. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2018.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 6: The Druze settlement Bayt Jann, the secret capital in northern Israel.
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2018.
Divided by minefields and barbed wire: Druze settlement areas of the Golan Heights. Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2017.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 7: Divided by minefields and barbed wire: Druze settlement areas of the Golan Heights.
Photo: Gebhard Fartacek, 2017.
The external court of the Nabī Bahāʾad-Dīn pilgrimage site. The burial room is located in the building on the left. Photo: Nour Farra Haddad, 2014.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 14: The external court of the Nabī Bahāʾad-Dīn pilgrimage site. The burial room is located in the building on the left.
Photo: Nour Farra Haddad, 2014.
The tomb (ḍarīḥ) of Nabī Bahāʾad-Dīn inside the maqām. The walls of the maqām Nabī Bahāʾad-Dīn are covered with carpets of different motives featuring animal themes. Photo: Nour Farra Haddad, 2014.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 15: The tomb (ḍarīḥ) of Nabī Bahāʾad-Dīn inside the maqām. The walls of the maqām Nabī Bahāʾad-Dīn are covered with carpets of different motives featuring animal themes.
Photo: Nour Farra Haddad, 2014.
Cemetery of an exceptional character reserved for a Druze dynastic lineage in Baʿqlīne, Lebanon. Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 17: Cemetery of an exceptional character reserved for a Druze dynastic lineage in Baʿqlīne, Lebanon.
Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
A Druze private cemetery, reserved mainly for religious sheikhs and those who had the honour to be buried in a place of worship. Shūf, Lebanon. Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 18: A Druze private cemetery, reserved mainly for religious sheikhs and those who had the honour to be buried in a place of worship. Shūf, Lebanon.
Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
Cypress trees in the Druze cemeteries of Nīḥā, Lebanon, frequently occuring in both Druze and Christian cemeteries.  Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 25: Cypress trees in the Druze cemeteries of Nīḥā, Lebanon, frequently occuring in both Druze and Christian cemeteries.
Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
Olive trees in Mukhtāra Druze cemeteries, also quite frequent in both Druze and Christian cemeteries. Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.
Druze Reincarnation Narratives,
Figure 26: Olive trees in Mukhtāra Druze cemeteries, also quite frequent in both Druze and Christian cemeteries.
Photo: Salma Samaha, 2008.

The project reader Druze Reincarnation Narratives: Previous Life Memories, Discourses, and the Construction of Identities (edited by Gebhard Fartacek) has been published by Peter Lang Publishing Group in July 2021.

This book follows the journey of Druze individuals who can remember their former lives and go on search for their previous families. For the Druze, an ethno-religious minority in the Middle East split between different nation-states, such cases and related discourses embody ambivalent bridges between personal, familial, and ethnic identities.
The contributions in this volume, presented by Eléonore Armanet, Nour Farra Haddad, Gebhard Fartacek, Tobias Lang, Lorenz Nigst, and Salma Samaha, draw on ethnographic inquiries and illuminate the broad field of Druze conceptions of rebirth and group coherence against the backdrop of everyday challenges and recent conflicts in the Middle East and beyond.

Open Access: Download book as PDF / Buch als PDF herunterladen
View book cover / Buchcover anzeigen
Download the official flyer / Flyer herunterladen

Peter Lang Publishing Group: free download of e-book / e-book kostenlos herunterladen

April 2021

Projektbeteiligung im Rahmen der Ausstellung Sehnsucht Ferne: Aufbruch in neue Welten, Schallaburg, 20.03.2021 – 07.11.2021:

Audiodatei zum Anhören
Erinnerungen einer syrischen Drusin an ihr früheres Leben und ihre Wiedergeburt in einer neuen Familie. Suwayda (Syrien), 24. August 2019. Sprache: Arabisch.
WhatsApp-Sprachnachricht an Wansa Nasrallah in Wien. Phonogrammarchiv der ÖAW, Wien: 20190824.G001.
Kommentar: Gebhard Fartacek

Hier können Sie die Audiodatei anhören

16. Mai 2019

Praktikumsstelle für Geflüchtete am Phonogrammarchiv

Auch an der zweiten Runde von ÖAW-Praktika für Menschen auf der Flucht beteiligt sich das Phonogrammarchiv aktiv.

April 25 – April 26, 2019

Nicht ungehört verhallen: Symposium zum 120-jährigen Bestehen des Phonogrammarchivs, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

Presentation of interim results from our project:

Lorenz Nigst, ÖAW: Mehrmals leben als Vorstellung und Wirklichkeit. Zur Seelenwanderung der Drusen.

Gebhard Fartacek, ÖAW: Syrische Flüchtlinge als partizipative Forschungspartner*innen: Methodologische Reflexionen.

17. April 2019

Projektpräsentation – Interview mit Gebhard Fartacek und Lorenz Nigst – im Rahmen der Ö1 Sendereihe Praxis – Religion und Gesellschaft von Kerstin Tretina:

Die Drusen – Geheimreligion im Nahen Osten vor der Zerreißprobe

1. April 2019

Jour Fixe Nahost aktuell – Gudrun Harrer im Gespräch mit Gebhard Fartacek. Wien, Diplomatische Akademie

Die Drusen im Nahen Osten: Identität und nationalstaatliche Kontexte.

14. Februar 2019

Ausflug zu den Drusen – und ins Phonogrammarchiv.
In: Orient-Express: Das Nahostmail von Gudrun Harrer, Nr. 11

July 16th – 20th, 2018

WOCMES 2018 – World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies
Seville, Spain

Presentation of interim results from our project in the frame of PA-352: Religions and linguistics minorities in the Middle East.
July 20th, 2018; 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Room: 112

Gebhard Fartacek, Austrian Academy of Sciences: ‘Previous-life memories, “speaking” children, and discourses on reincarnation among the Druze.’

Lorenz Nigst, Austrian Academy of Sciences: ‘‘You are not my mother:’ The ambivalent situation caused by Druze children who speak about previous lives’.

22. November 2017

Die Presse

Die Seele wandert in ein neues Leben

– Beitrag von Sonja Burger, im Gespräch mit Gebhard Fartacek

November 30th–December 1st, 2017

W O R K S H O P
Reincarnation and Personal Identity in the Middle East

International project workshop, Austrian Academy of Sciences – Vienna

Download PDF File: Reader on Reincarnation and Personal Identity in the Middle East

22. September 2017

Pressenachricht der ÖAW

Das Leben davor und danach

Die Lebensgeschichten und Perspektiven syrischer Kriegsflüchtlinge hat der ÖAW-Sozialanthropologe Gebhard Fartacek aufgezeichnet und analysiert. Erste Ergebnisse seiner Forschung sind nun in einer Publikation erschienen.

Der Sammelband „Facetten von Flucht aus dem Nahen und Mittleren Osten“ ist 2017 im Verlag facultas erschienen. Siehe auch unter Publikationen bzw. direkt auf der Verlagsseite.

Gebhard Fartacek, PhD & Lorenz Nigst, PhD | Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
Phonogrammarchiv - Audio-Visual Research and Documentation