1st Edition

Religion and Psychoanalysis in India Critical Clinical Practice

By Sabah Siddiqui Copyright 2016
    138 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    138 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Religion and Psychoanalysis in India questions the assumptions of an established scientific, evidence-based global mental health paradigm by examining the practices of faith-based healing. It proposes that human beings demonstrate a dual loyalty: to science as faith and faith as science, both of which get reconfigured in the process. In this particular context, science and faith are deployed in ways that are not only different but at times contrary to mainstream discourses of science and religion, and faith healing becomes a point where these two discourses collide head-on in negotiating cultural values and practices. The book addresses key questions, such as:

    • What is the value of 'faith healing' in understanding distress and treatment in different cultural contexts?
    • What is a critical psychological perspective on faith and religious systems?
    • What challenges do alternative religious practices pose to critical psychology?
    • How should we re-imagine clinical work in a context marked by science and religion?

    Situated between 'West' and 'East', between the global mental health movement and local faith-based practices in India, the book addresses a wide audience that includes students and researchers in psychology, cultural and medical anthropology, the sociology of religion, cultural theory, postcolonial theory, and the sociology of science. It will also appeal to policy-makers and practitioners interested in the work of NGOs and the legal frameworks driving mental health movements in India.

    Acknowledgements  Map  1. Introduction  2. On Method  3. Ghosts from the past  4. Woman or Goddess?  5. Prayers, pills and politics  6. In Lieu of a Conclusion  Glossary  References  Index


    Sabah Siddiqui is a full-time funded doctoral researcher in the School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, UK.

    ‘Uniquely timely scholarship demonstrating how the psychiatry/faith relation provides a key lens to evaluate the contemporary Indian state. This elegant and original study illuminates how science and modernity configure and consolidate psychologies of gender and violence through contested claims to and of tradition.’ Erica Burman, Professor of Education, University of Manchester, UK


    ‘This book is an invaluable re-examination of the possible appositeness of two otherwise hyper-separated discourses, that of faith (usually but unfairly cocooned within discourses of religion) and that of healing (usually and unfairly reduced to medicalized exegeses), in secular scientistic worldviews dominating the current space of mental health. By inaugurating questions of faith in healing traditions and questions of healing in traditions of faith the book opens an altogether new window to engagement with questions of mental health in India as also elsewhere.’ Anup Dhar, Ambedkar University Delhi, India.