+ Resolve Article
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter

+ Translate
+ Subscribe to Site Feed
GeoScience Most Shared ContentMost Shared Content

Rethinking 'Efficacy': Ritual Healing and Trance in the Mahanubhav Shrines in India

, : Rethinking 'Efficacy': Ritual Healing and Trance in the Mahanubhav Shrines in India. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 39(3): 361-379

Ritual healing has been one of the core topics in anthropology and, to a lesser extent, in psychology as well. Much of the research on ritual healing has focused on how healing works, and what factors constitute the efficacy of healing. In answering this question, scholars have focused primarily on two main factors-the symbolic significance of rituals, and the relationship between the healer and the patient. This paper explores understandings about efficacy in a context where elaborate rituals do not occur, the role of the healer is minimal, and the sufferers do not have expectations of complete wellness. In the Mahanubhav temples in India, healing is not understood as the removal of symptoms. The healing process involves amplifying unpleasant and painful symptoms, thereby 'drawing out' the illness from the body. Moreover, the temple narratives emphasize the transient nature of temple healing, where people rarely become completely well. They therefore frequently return to stay in the temple as and when their symptoms recur, thus forging long-term bond with the temple community and sect. These findings suggest that temple healing is powerful not so much for the practice of specific exorcist rituals, but for providing a refuge and a community for suffering individuals.


PMID: 25398665

DOI: 10.1007/s11013-014-9421-8

Other references

Skaper, S.D.; Varon, S., 1987: Ionic responses and growth stimulation in rat astroglial cells: differential mechanisms of gangliosides and serum. Rat astroglial cells respond to fetal calf serum (FCS) and gangliosides, including GM1, by undergoing proliferation. Here, we show that addition of FCS but not GM1 causes an increase in Na+, K+-pump activity, as measured by ouabain-sensitive 86Rb+...

Levay, S.; Swaab, D.F.Reviewer, 1996: Queer science (book review). Nature 382: 2-3

Moreno, M.; Lopez-Herce, J.; Merello, C.; Alcaraz, A.; Carrillo, A., 1996: Exogenous surfactant therapy for acute respiratory distress in infancy. Intensive Care Medicine 22(1): 87-87

Gomez, G.; Atema, J., 1994: Time course of recovery from adaptation by hydroxyproline-sensitive lobster olfactory receptor neurons. Biological Bulletin 187(2): 259-260

Carlino, P.; Pettini, F.; Cantore, S.; Ballini, A.; Grassi, F.Roberto.; Pepe, V., 2014: Surgical and prosthetic rehabilitation of combination syndrome. The aim of this report is to analyze the clinical symptoms, ethologic factors, and prosthetic rehabilitation in a case of Combination Syndrome (CS). The treatment of CS can be conventional or surgical, with or without the bone reconstruction of ma...

Delitala G.; Palermo M.; Tomasi P.; Besser M.; Grossman A., 1991: Adrenergic stimulation of the human pituitary adrenal axis is attenuated by an analog of methionine enkephalin. It has previously been suggested that endogenous opioid peptides may suppress the pituitary-adrenal axis in man by inhibiting an excitatory .alpha.1-adrenoceptor input to neural mechanisms liberating corticotrophin-releasing factor or factors (CRF...

Monaco A.; Valette J.N., 1976: Occurrence of manganese micronodules in Recent marine sediments of Vulcano, Lipari Islands, Italy; preliminary results. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences, Serie D: Sciences Naturelles 282(24): 2135-2138

Mckeen, E.; Feniuk, W.; Humphrey, P.P.A.; Gale, J.; Green, A., 1993: Inhibitory effect of octreotide and seglitide on vasodepressor responses induced by colonic distension in anaesthetised rats. British Journal of Pharmacology 110(PROC SUPPL OCT ): 147P

Heseding, C.; Saumweber, H.; Rathke, C.; Ehrenhofer-Murray, A.E., 2016: Widespread colocalization of the Drosophila histone acetyltransferase homolog MYST5 with DREF and insulator proteins at active genes. NlmCategory="UNASSIGNED">MYST family histone acetyltransferases play important roles in gene regulation. Here, we have characterized the Drosophila MYST histone acetyltransferase (HAT) encoded by cg1894, whose closest homolog is Droso...

Kogan A.B.; Aleinikova T.V.; Klepach G.S., 1978: Spread of excitation along neuron chains of the frog rana ridibunda tectum opticum in response to various visual stimuli. Neuroscience & Behavioral Physiology 9(1): 70-74