Aghor Medicine: Pollution, Death, and Healing in Northern India / Edition 1

Aghor Medicine: Pollution, Death, and Healing in Northern India / Edition 1

by Ronald L. Barrett
     
 

For centuries, the Aghori have been known as the most radical ascetics in India; they have lived naked on the cremation grounds, meditated on corpses, engaged in cannibalism and coprophagy, and consumed intoxicants out of human skulls. In recent years, however, the Aghori have shifted their practices from the embrace of ritually polluted substances to the healing of… See more details below

Overview

For centuries, the Aghori have been known as the most radical ascetics in India; they have lived naked on the cremation grounds, meditated on corpses, engaged in cannibalism and coprophagy, and consumed intoxicants out of human skulls. In recent years, however, the Aghori have shifted their practices from the embrace of ritually polluted substances to the healing of stigmatized diseases. In the process, they have become a large, socially mainstream, and politically powerful organization. Based on extensive fieldwork, this lucidly written book explores the dynamics of pollution, death, and healing in Aghor medicine. Ron Barrett examines a range of Aghor therapies from ritual bathing to modified Ayurveda and biomedicines, and clarifies many misconceptions about this little-studied group and its highly unorthodox, powerful ideas about illness and healing.

About the Author:
Ron Barrett is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520252196
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/04/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     ix
Foreword   Jonathan P. Parry     xi
Note on Transliteration, Abbreviations, and Names     xvii
Acknowledgments     xix
Introduction     1
The Cosmic Sink     29
Fire in the Well     57
The Reformation     84
The Wrong Side of the River     101
Dawa and Duwa     119
Death and Nondiscrimination     138
Conclusion     167
Notes     187
Glossary     195
References     199
Index     211

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