Religion, Medicine, and Healing: Contemporary Perspectives
Author(s): Robin Wright
Religion, Medicine and Healing is an anthology developed from a critique that many people have formulated concerning the relations of contemporary western biomedicine and local healing traditions.
Many local traditions, it happens, are in danger of being forgotten, not transmitted, and are even discredited by orthodox biomedicine. At best, most local traditions have survived as fragmented pieces of once greater totalities. Everywhere, Western biomedicine has occupied spaces that were once the domains of local specialists.
Based on the unique experience and knowledge of the contributing authors, Religion, Medicine and Healing goes beyond mere descriptive ethnography by engaging important theoretical discussions of ‘performance’, ‘aesthetics’, ‘personhood’, ‘soul’, and ‘life-forces’.
Now available in eBook format, Religion, Medicine and Healing:
- Uses native exegeses to provide meaningful statements by specialists of ‘the unseen world’, the ‘other worlds’ of beneficent or malevolent spirits.
- Includes graphic representations made by native artists of the spirits and deities.
- Describes what it means to become a healing specialist in native societies of Amazonia, Malaysia and Central Asia.
- Offers a transition in this anthology’s global panorama, from the ancient priestly knowledge of the present-day Maya, to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
- Provides readings and lectures explore some of the world’s oldest medical knowledge (Hindu Vedas, the Tibetan Buddhist Gyu-dzshi tradition, healing rites of Christianity, and the qawalli devotional music of the Sufi Chishti Order.
- Explores nature religions.
Module 1: Introduction
1.1 Introductory Outline (Lecture 1)
Reading Kleinman: What Is Specific to Western Medicine?
1.2. The Problem of Chronic Pain (Lecture 2)
Reading Jackson: Chronic Pain
1.3. Religious Specialists (Lecture 3)
Accompanying Notes "Shamans, Priests, Sorcerers, and Savants"
Reading Wright: Religious Specialists
Module 2: Shamanic Traditions of the World
Introduction to Module 2
2.1 Northwest Amazonian Shamans (Lecture 1)
Reading Wright “The Making of a Jaguar Shaman”
Reading Wright “The Making of a Jaguar Shaman’s House of Knowledge and
Reading “Chamanes jaguares del Yuruparí, declarado patrimonio de la
2.2 Amazonian Ayahuasca Healers and Churches.
Reading Langdon: The Symbolic Efficacy of Rituals: From Ritual to
Reading Taylor: La Medicina: Ritual and Healing with Ayahuasca
Reading Rittner: Sound—Trance—Healing
Reading Frecska: The Risks and Potential Benefits of Ayahuasca Use from a
Comparative Table: Mestizo Shamans, Ayahuasca Churches, Traditional
2.3 Physical and Spiritual Transformations in Bon Shamanism of Nepal and
Tibet (Lecture 1)
Reading Peters: The Man Chinni Exorcism Rite of Tamang Shamans
2.4 Performance, Music, and Healing (Lecture 1)
Healing Sounds from Malaysian rainforest (Lecture 2)
Reading Ladermann: The Poetics of Healing in Malay Shamanistic
2.5. Shamanism and Community Healing at Mardi Gras
Reading Ehrenreich: Drumming, African Identity, and Shamanism
2.6. Neo-Shamanism and Core Shamanism (Lecture 1)
Link 1 – Brunton (http://www.shamanism.org/articles/article13.html)
Link 4 – Mokelke (http://www.shamanism.org/articles/ethics.html)
Reading: Townsend Core shamanism and Neo-Shamanism
Comparative Table: Traditional, Core, and Neo-shamanisms
Module 3: Traditional Mayan Healing Life Force
Traditional Mayan Healing (Lecture 1)
Chinese Taoist QI + Mayan O’ol (Lecture 2)
Reading Garcia: Wind in the Blood
Module 4: Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhist Tradition (Lecture 1)
Tibetan Medical Traditions (Lecture 2)
Link 1 – (http://www.scribd.com/doc/78360455/Geoffrey-Samuels-
Link 2 – http://www.holybooks.com/studies-tibetan-bon-tradition/)
Link 3 – (http://www.tibetanmedicine-edu.org/index.php/n-articles/the-threehumors-
Link 4 – (http://www;tibetanmedicine-edu.org/index.php/the-tibetanmedicine)
Reading Salick: Tibetan Medicine Plurality
Module 5: Hinduism: Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurvedic Medicine pt 1 (Lecture 1)
Ayurvedic Medicine pt 2 (Lecture 2)
Reading Wujastyk: Indian Medicine
Reading Lee: Modern Practice of Ayurveda and its Globalization
Module 6: Charismatic Roman Catholics and Pentecostalists
Charismatic Catholics + Pentecostals (Lecture 1)
Reading Csordas: Imagine Performance and Memory in Ritual Healing
Module 7: Islamic Sufi Healing
Chisht Sufism Qawalli Tradition 1 (Lecture 1)
Chisht Sufism Qawalli Tradition 2 (Lecture 2)
Reading Newell: Unseen Power: Aesthetic Dimensions of Symbolic Healing
Module 8: Naturopathy
Naturopathy—Healing from Plants (Lecture 1)
Link 1 – (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=naturopathy)
Link 2 – (http://www.bastyr.edu/news/generakl-news-home-page/2012
Reading Chris Wright: Cannabis (L: sativa, indica, ruderalis)
Module 9: Healing the Planet
Nature Religions: Healing the Earth and its Peoples (Lecture 1)
Reading Albanese: Nature Religion in the United States
Reading Fisher: Ecopsychology
Reading DePater: Ecotheraphy and Ecotopia
Reading O’Brien: on Dark Green Religion
Introduction to links
Link 1 – (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/exhibition/healingtotem/
Link 2 – (http://www.ratical.org/lifeweb/index.html)
Module 10: Traditional Healing Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights
Legal Issues and Debates: Indigenous Knowledge and “Property Rights”
Reading Anderson: Indigenous/Traditional Knowledge & Intellectual
Reading Sapp: Monopolizing Medicinal Methods: The Debate over Patent
Rights for Indigenous Peoples
Module 11: Bibliographies & Audio-visual Resources