Explicitly dealing with the religious aspects of healing and healers, this unique and intriguing book examines illness, healing, and religion in cross-cultural perspective by looking at how sickness is understood and treated in a wide variety of cultures. Centered around three principle themes, the text: A) illustrates how crucial it is to frame illness in a meaningful context in every culture and how this process is almost always bound up with religious, spiritual, and moral concerns; B) shows how many beliefs, strategies, and practices that characterize traditional cultures also appear in Christianity, putting healing in the Christian tradition in a broad, rational context, and; C) discusses the continuities between traditional, explicitly religious, and modern medical cultures — demonstrating that many features of modern scientific medicine are symbolic and ritualistic, and that many aspects and practices of modern medicine are similar to healing as seen in traditional, pre-scientific medical cultures. For those in the religious, anthropological and medical professions.
An examination of the ways health, sickness, and healing are related to religious and moral concerns and practices in most cultures. It shows that healing is often a symbolic and ritualistic process and that healers--even in modern scientific medicine--are masters at employing symbols and rituals in their treatment of illness. Its three sections deal with themes and characteristics of traditional medical cultures; the ways those characteristics apply to Christianity; and the ways modern Western medicine is similar to traditional healing. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)