Exactly where is the common ground between religion and medicine in phenomena described as 'religious healing?' In what sense is the human body a cultural phenomenon and not merely a biological entity? Drawing on over twenty years of research on topics ranging from Navajo and Catholic Charismatic ritual healing to the cultural and religious implications of virtual reality in biomedical technology, Body, Meaning, Healing sensitively examines these questions about human experience and the meaning of being human. In recognizing the way that the meaningfulness of our existence as bodily beings is sometimes created in the encounter between suffering and the sacred, these penetrating ethnographic studies elaborate an experimental understanding of the therapeutic process, and trace the outlines of a cultural phenomenology grounded in embodiment.
About the Author
THOMAS J. CSORDAS is Armington Professor of Anthropology and Religion at Case Western Reserve University and author of The Sacred Self and Language, Charisma, and Creativity.
Table of ContentsPART I: CHARISMATIC TRANSFORMATIONS The Rhetoric of Transformation in Ritual Healing Embodiment as a Paradigm for Anthropology A Handmaid's Tale The Affliction of Martin PART II: NAVAJO TRANSFORMATIONS Ritual Healing and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Navajo Society Talk to Them So That They Understand The Sore That Does Not Heal Words from the Holy People PART II: MODULATIONS OF EMBODIMENT Somatic Modes of Attention Shades of Representation and Being in Virtual Reality