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25 Sep 2002
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Exactly where is the common ground between religion and medicine in phenomena described as 'religious healing?' In what sense is the human body a cultural phenomenon and not merely a biological entity? Drawing on over twenty years of research on topics ranging from Navajo and Catholic Charismatic ritual healing to the cultural and religious implications of virtual reality in biomedical technology, Body, Meaning, Healing sensitively examines these questions about human experience and the meaning of being human. In recognizing the way that the meaningfulness of our existence as bodily beings is sometimes created in the encounter between suffering and the sacred, these penetrating ethnographic studies elaborate an experimental understanding of the therapeutic process, and trace the outlines of a cultural phenomenology grounded in embodiment.


Description

Exactly where is the common ground between religion and medicine in phenomena described as 'religious healing?' In what sense is the human body a cultural phenomenon and not merely a biological entity? Drawing on over twenty years of research on topics ranging from Navajo and Catholic Charismatic ritual healing to the cultural and religious implications of virtual reality in biomedical technology, Body, Meaning, Healing sensitively examines these questions about human experience and the meaning of being human. In recognizing the way that the meaningfulness of our existence as bodily beings is sometimes created in the encounter between suffering and the sacred, these penetrating ethnographic studies elaborate an experimental understanding of the therapeutic process, and trace the outlines of a cultural phenomenology grounded in embodiment.


Reviews

'...sets a new standard for exploring the cultural, phenomenological, religious and even theological aspects of health and wholeness.' - Amos Young, Religious Studies Review


Contents

PART I: CHARISMATIC TRANSFORMATIONS
The Rhetoric of Transformation in Ritual Healing
Embodiment as a Paradigm for Anthropology
A Handmaid's Tale
The Affliction of Martin
PART II: NAVAJO TRANSFORMATIONS
Ritual Healing and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Navajo Society
Talk to Them So That They Understand
The Sore That Does Not Heal
Words from the Holy People
PART II: MODULATIONS OF EMBODIMENT
Somatic Modes of Attention
Shades of Representation and Being in Virtual Reality


Authors

THOMAS J. CSORDAS is Armington Professor of Anthropology and Religion at Case Western Reserve University and author of The Sacred Self and Language, Charisma, and Creativity.