In Amma's Healing Room: Gender and Vernacular Islam in South India / Edition 1

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Overview

"[I]t is extremely salubrious to see the ways Islam works in the lives of ordinary people who are not politicized in their religious lives.... No other book on South Asia has material like this." —Ann Grodzins Gold

In Amma’s Healing
Room is a compelling study of the life and thought of a female Muslim spiritual healer in Hyderabad,
South India. Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger describes Amma’s practice as a form of vernacular
Islam arising in a particular locality, one in which the boundaries between Islam, Hinduism, and
Christianity are fluid. In the "healing room," Amma meets a diverse clientele that includes men and women, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian, of varied social backgrounds, who bring a wide range of physical, social, and psychological afflictions. Flueckiger collaborated closely with Amma and relates to her at different moments as daughter, disciple, and researcher. The result is a work of insight and compassion that challenges widely held views of religion and gender in India and reveals the creativity of a tradition often portrayed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike as singular and monolithic.

Indiana University Press

Winner, 2007 Georgia Author of the Year award, nonfiction/biography category

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"This informative study is well illustrated with the author's photographs and immensely suitable for undergraduate and graduate students.... Highly recommended." —Choice

Anthropological Quarterly

"... This is a timely ethnography... in a time in which the high volume of negative religious rhetoric about Islam and in the name of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity have subsumed the centrality of love in religious teachings and rituals." —Anthropological Quarterly

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"... In Amma’s Healing Room is a well-written ethnographic study of a complex and sensitive domain of Muslim religious experience and, as such, is a very welcome addition not only to the expanding body of anthropological work on Islam as a world religion. It broadens the anthropological understanding of the various forms taken by Islamic religious authority and offers new insights into the vitality and diversity of Muslim ritual practices in South Asia." —Magnus Marsden, School of Oriental and African Studies, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol.15. 1 March 2009

— Magnus Marsden, School of Oriental and African Studies

History of Religions
"Only rarely are books powerful enough to capture the imaginations and emotions of our students: this is one such book." —Susan Snow Wadley, Syracuse University, History of Religions, Vol. 48.1 May 2009

— Susan Snow Wadley, Syracuse University

The Journal of Religion
"In Amma's Healing Room is a terrific book. Well structured and well written, it will be a great addition to courses on religious ethnography, popular and contemporary Islam, South Asian religions, ritual studies, and gender studies." —the Journal of Religion, 88.2, April 2008
South Asia Research

"This book is a compelling ethnographic study... Flueckiger's work goes a long way towards shattering the categories and fixed identities commonly associated with South Asia.... The emphasis on gender makes this work even more invaluable for anyone trying to study religion in South Asia, or indeed, Islam, as a lived experience." —South Asia Research, V.29.2 July 2009

From the Publisher

"Only rarely are books powerful enough to capture the imaginations and emotions of our students: this is one such book." —Susan Snow Wadley, Syracuse University, History of
Religions, Vol. 48.1 May 2009

"In Amma's Healing Room is a terrific book. Well structured and well written, it will be a great addition to courses on religious ethnography, popular and contemporary Islam, South Asian religions, ritual studies, and gender studies." —the Journal of Religion, 88.2, April
2008

"[I]t is extremely salubrious to see the ways Islam works in the lives of ordinary people who are not politicized in their religious lives.... No other book on South Asia has material like this." —Ann Grodzins Gold

Indiana University Press

"... In Amma’s Healing Room is a well-written ethnographic study of a complex and sensitive domain of Muslim religious experience and, as such, is a very welcome addition not only to the expanding body of anthropological work on Islam as a world religion. It broadens the anthropological understanding of the various forms taken by Islamic religious authority and offers new insights into the vitality and diversity of Muslim ritual practices in South Asia."
—Magnus Marsden, School of Oriental and African Studies, Journal of the Royal Anthropological
Institute, Vol.15. 1 March 2009

"... This is a timely ethnography... in a time in which the high volume of negative religious rhetoric about Islam and in the name of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity have subsumed the centrality of love in religious teachings and rituals." —Anthropological
Quarterly

"This informative study is well illustrated with the author's photographs and immensely suitable for undergraduate and graduate students.... Highly recommended."
—Choice

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute - Magnus Marsden

"... In Amma’s Healing Room is a well-written ethnographic study of a complex and sensitive domain of Muslim religious experience and, as such, is a very welcome addition not only to the expanding body of anthropological work on Islam as a world religion. It broadens the anthropological understanding of the various forms taken by Islamic religious authority and offers new insights into the vitality and diversity of Muslim ritual practices in South Asia." —Magnus Marsden, School of Oriental and African Studies, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol.15. 1 March 2009

History of Religions - Susan Snow Wadley

"Only rarely are books powerful enough to capture the imaginations and emotions of our students: this is one such book." —Susan Snow Wadley, Syracuse University, History of Religions, Vol. 48.1 May 2009

the Journal of Religion

"In Amma's Healing Room is a terrific book. Well structured and well written, it will be a great addition to courses on religious ethnography, popular and contemporary Islam, South Asian religions, ritual studies, and gender studies." —the Journal of Religion, 88.2, April 2008

Choice

"This informative study is well illustrated with the author's photographs and immensely suitable for undergraduate and graduate students.... Highly recommended." —Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253218377
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger is Professor of Religion at Emory University and author of Gender and Genre in the Folklore of Middle India.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
A Note on
Transliteration

Introduction: Called to Amma's Courtyard
1. Setting the
Stage: The Healing Room, Its Actors, and Its Rhythms
2. The Healing System
3.
Patient Narratives in the Healing Room
4. Negotiating Gender in the Healing
Room
5. Religious Identities at the Crossroads
6. Immersed in Remembrance and
Song: Religious Identities, Authority, and Gender at the Sam?
Conclusion: Vernacular Islam
Embedded in Relationships
Epilogue

Appendix: Death and Difference: A
Conversation
Glossary
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

Indiana University Press

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