Health and Religious Rituals in South Asia: Disease, Possession and Healing

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Fabrizio Ferrari
Taylor & Francis, Mar 7, 2011 - Political Science - 256 pages
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Drawing on original fieldwork, this book develops a fresh methodological approach to the study of indigenous understandings of disease as possession, and looks at healing rituals in different South Asian cultural contexts. Contributors discuss the meaning of 'disease', 'possession' and 'healing' in relation to South Asian religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism, and how South Asians deal with the divine in order to negotiate health and wellbeing.

The book goes on to look at goddesses, gods and spirits as a cause and remedy of a variety of diseases, a study that has proved significant to the ethics and politics of responding to health issues. It contributes to a consolidation and promotion of indigenous ways as a method of understanding physical and mental imbalances through diverse conceptions of the divine. Chapters offer a fascinating overview of healing rituals in South Asia and provide a full-length, sustained discussion of the interface between religion, ritual, and folklore. The book presents a fresh insight into studies of Asian Religion and the History of Medicine.


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Part II Possession from the West
Part III Possession from the North
Part IV Possession from the East
Part V Possession from the South

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About the author (2011)

Fabrizio M. Ferrari is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Chester, UK. His research focuses on the study of South Asian popular Hinduism and folklore, and subaltern studies and ritual theory.

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