Religious Therapeutics: Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra / Edition 1

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Explores the relationship between health and religion based on the model offered by the Hindu traditions of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book renders the Indian traditions of A÷yurveda, Yoga and Tantra with great vividness, in terms that Westerners can understand, yet without concealing the profound foreignness of Indian culture. The work is timely and important. Its massive scholarship presents a forceful case for recognizing the contemporary relevance of Indian religious therapeutics. …fascinating and lucid.” — S. Cromwell Crawford, author of Dilemmas of Life and Death: Hindu Ethics in North American Context
After an overview of ideas connecting religion and medicine, Fields (philosophy, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville) offers a model of religious therapeutics and consideration of Western philosophies of healing (including a detailed look at Descartes on the subject), and traditional Indian views of person and body. The scholarly investigation that follows details three Indian traditions, examining the meanings of health in Ayurveda<-->including biological, ecological, socio-cultural, metaphysical, and religious determinants; classical yoga<-->its meanings and forms; and tantra and aesthetic therapeutics, including, among other topics, sacred music as a religious therapeutic. Open-minded physicians might find food for thought, but the primary audience is probably scholars involved in religious studies, philosophy, and alternative medicine. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791449165
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: SUNY Series in Religious Studies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory P. Fields is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Symbols and Notes on Sources
Introduction: The Idea of Religious Therapeutics 1
Ch. 1 Body and Philosophies of Healing 11
Body in Western Philosophy of Medicine 11
Iconoclastic Concepts of Body in Yoga, Tantra, and Ayurveda 21
Ch. 2 Meanings of Health in Ayurveda 45
Inquiry into Health 47
Determinants of Health 50
Ayurvedic Religious Therapeutics 78
Ch. 3 Classical Yoga as a Religious Therapeutic 83
Meanings and Forms of Yoga 85
A Matrix of Classical Yoga as a Religious Therapeutic 94
Liberation as Healing in Classical Yoga 131
Ch. 4 Tantra and Aesthetic Therapeutics 139
Body and Tantric Yogas 140
Aesthetic Therapeutics in Tantra 153
Sacred Music as a Religious Therapeutic 157
Conclusion: Community: Relationality in Religious Therapeutics 167
Notes 175
Sources 191
Subject Index 201
Sanskrit Terms 211
Index of Names 217
Sanskrit Texts 221
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