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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.
I. TRADITIONAL CULTURES.
1. Theories of Disease and Types of Healers.
2. Shamanic Healing.
3. Individual Healers.
4. Healing among the Kalahari Kung.
5. Healing Ceremonies among the Navaho.
6. Healers and Healing Rituals among the Zinacanteco.
7. Demonology: Healing Scenarios from North India.
8. Central Themes in Traditional Healing.
9. Jesus as a Healer.
10. Healing in the Christian Tradition after Jesus.
11. Saints and Healing Shrines.
12. Contemporary Christian Faith Healers.
13. Healing in Contemporary North American Christianity.
III. MODERN MEDICAL CULTURE.
14. Aspects of the Healer/Therapist's Role in Modern Psychotherapy.
15. The Placebo Effect: Ritual and Symbol in Modern Medicine.
16. The Ideology of Modern Medical Culture.
17. The Medicalization of Morality: Modern Medicine as Secular Religion.
18. The Search for Meaning in Modern Medicine: The Patient Speaks.