Author: Stacey A. Langwick
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2011-06-23
Genre: Social Science
This subtle and powerful ethnography examines African healing and its relationship to medical science. Stacey A. Langwick investigates the practices of healers in Tanzania who confront the most intractable illnesses in the region, including AIDS and malaria. She reveals how healers generate new therapies and shape the bodies of their patients as they address devils and parasites, anti-witchcraft medicine, and child immunization. Transcending the dualisms between tradition and science, culture and nature, belief and knowledge, Langwick tells a new story about the materiality of healing and postcolonial politics. This important work bridges postcolonial theory, science, public health, and anthropology.
Author: Sherine Hamdy
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2012-03-13
"Based on extensive research in Egypt, this powerful, deeply disturbing ethnography causes readers to question commonly held assumptions about the organ transplant enterprise. Hamdy, acutely sensitive to the destructive forces of extreme poverty, argues against an ethics of codified rules whether religious or secular, and for a flexible bioethics situated in the historical, socio/economic and religious realities of Egyptians' daily life."--Margaret Lock, co-author of An Anthropology of Biomedicine “This is the best ethnography yet available on Islamic ethical reasoning and medical practice. Hamdy presents a truly sophisticated and nuanced portrayal of the organ transplant debate in Egypt and its larger implications for the Middle East and medicine.” --John Bowen, author of A New Anthropology of Islam “Our Bodies Belong to God is a sensitive and original exploration of how religious ethics inform the practice of medicine for doctors, patients and policy makers alike. This will be read widely in medical anthropology and the field of ethics.” --Saba Mahmood, author of Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
Author: Volker Scheid
Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
Release Date: 2011-10-24
Traditional East Asian healthcare systems have moved rapidly from the fringes of healthcare systems in the West towards the centre over the past 50 years. This change of status for traditional medicines presents their practitioners with both opportunities and challenges as the focus shifts from one of opposition towards one of integration into biomedically dominated healthcare systems. Integrating East Asian Medicine into Contemporary Healthcare examines the opportunities and challenges of integrating East Asian medicine into Western healthcare systems from an interdisciplinary perspective. Volker Scheid and Hugh MacPherson bring together contributions from acknowledged experts from a number of different disciplines - including clinical researchers, Chinese Medicine practitioners, historians, medical anthropologists, experts in the social studies of science, technology and medicine - to examine and debate the impact of the evidence-based medicine movement on the ongoing modernization of East Asian medicines. The book considers the following questions: •What are the values, goals and ethics implicit within traditional East Asian medical practices? • What claims to effectiveness and safety are made by East Asian medical practices? •What is at stake in subjecting these medical practices to biomedical models of evaluation? • What constitutes best practice? How is it to be defined and measured? • What are the ideologies and politics behind the process of integration of East Asian medical practices into modern health care systems? • What can we learn from a variety of models of integration into contemporary healthcare?
Author: Frederick M. Smith
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2006-12-05
Genre: Social Science
The Self Possessed is a multifaceted, diachronic study reconsidering the very nature of religion in South Asia, the culmination of years of intensive research. Frederick M. Smith proposes that positive oracular or ecstatic possession is the most common form of spiritual expression in India, and that it has been linguistically distinguished from negative, disease-producing possession for thousands of years. In South Asia possession has always been broader and more diverse than in the West, where it has been almost entirely characterized as "demonic." At best, spirit possession has been regarded as a medically treatable psychological ailment and at worst, as a condition that requires exorcism or punishment. In South (and East) Asia, ecstatic or oracular possession has been widely practiced throughout history, occupying a position of respect in early and recent Hinduism and in certain forms of Buddhism. Smith analyzes Indic literature from all ages-the earliest Vedic texts; the Mahabharata; Buddhist, Jain, Yogic, Ayurvedic, and Tantric texts; Hindu devotional literature; Sanskrit drama and narrative literature; and more than a hundred ethnographies. He identifies several forms of possession, including festival, initiatory, oracular, and devotional, and demonstrates their multivocality within a wide range of sects and religious identities. Possession is common among both men and women and is practiced by members of all social and caste strata. Smith theorizes on notions of embodiment, disembodiment, selfhood, personal identity, and other key issues through the prism of possession, redefining the relationship between Sanskritic and vernacular culture and between elite and popular religion. Smith's study is also comparative, introducing considerable material from Tibet, classical China, modern America, and elsewhere. Brilliant and persuasive, The Self Possessed provides careful new translations of rare material and is the most comprehensive study in any language on this subject.