The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Medicine, and Health  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Medicine, and Health

ISBN 9781138630062
Published November 25, 2021 by Routledge
562 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The relationships between religion, spirituality, health, biomedical institutions, complementary, and alternative healing systems are widely discussed today. While many of these debates revolve around the biomedical legitimacy of religious modes of healing, the market for them continues to grow. The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Medicine, and Health is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems, and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty-five chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into five parts:

  • Healing practices with religious roots and frames
  • Religious actors in and around the medical field
  • Organizing infrastructures of religion and medicine: pluralism and competition
  • Boundary-making between religion and medicine
  • Religion and epidemics

Within these sections, central issues, debates and problems are examined, including health and healing, religiosity, spirituality, biomedicine, medicalization, complementary medicine, medical therapy, efficacy, agency, and the nexus of body, mind, and spirit.

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Medicine, and Health is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies. The Handbook will also be very useful for those in related fields, such as sociology, anthropology, and medicine.

Table of Contents

Introduction: critical approaches to the entanglement of religion, medicine, and healing

Pamela E. Klassen, Philipp Hetmanczyk, Dorothea Lüddeckens, and Justin B. Stein

Part I. Healing practices with religious roots and frames

1. Afro-Atlantic healing practices

Maarit Forde

2. Ayurveda: the modern faces of ‘Vedic’ healing and sacred science

Maya Warrier

3. Curanderismo in the Americas

Brett Hendrickson

4. Healing traditions in sub-Saharan Africa

Walter Bruchhausen

5. Homeopathy and chiropractic in the United States and beyond

Holly Folk

6. ‘Mind Cure’ and mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs)

Wakoh Shannon Hickey

7. The hospice movement, palliative care, and Anthroposophy in Europe

Barbara Zeugin

8. Spiritual healing in Latin America

Bettina E. Schmidt

9. Traditional Chinese medicine: history, ethnography, and practice

Elisabeth Hsu

10. Unani medicine: health, religion, and politics in colonial India

Seema Alavi

Part II. Religious actors in and around the medical field

11. Diagnosing materialism: Ayurvedic purification regimens as spiritual cure

Jean M. Langford

12. Buddhist spiritual caregivers in Japan

Hara Takahashi

13. Chaplains and spiritual caregivers in American healthcare organizations

Wendy Cadge and Michael Skaggs

14. Muslim healthcare chaplaincy in North America and Europe: professionalizing a communal obligation

Lance D. Laird, Samsiah Abdul Majid, and Magda L. Mohamed

15. Charismatic healers: embodied practices in US and Singaporean megachurches

Katja Rakow

16. Energy healing: Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Healing Touch in the United States and beyond

Justin B. Stein

17. Gurus and healing: Amma (Mata Amritanandamyi) at the intersection of miracles and medicine

Amanda Lucia

18. Medical missionaries and witch doctors: Protestant object lessons in biomedicine in Africa and the South Pacific

Daniel Midena

19. Rabbinic authority and reproductive medicine in Israel

Tsipy Ivry and Elly Teman

PART III. Organizing infrastructures of religion and medicine: pluralism and competition

20. Digital tools for fertility awareness: family planning, health, religion, and feminine embodiment

Florence Pasche Guignard

21. The Internet as infrastructure for healing: the case of spirit possession in Japan

Birgit Staemmler

22. Markets of medicine: orthodox medicine, complementary and alternative medicine, and religion in Britain

Mike Saks

23. Medical pluralism in policy and practice: the case of Malaysia

Md. Nazrul Islam

24. Midwifery and traditional birth attendants in transnational perspective

Sarah A. Williams and Janice Boddy

25. Postcolonial medicine in African contexts

Nolwazi Mkhwanazi

26. Religious entrepreneurs in the health market: opportunities in a field dominated by biomedicine

Markus Hero

Part IV. Boundary-making between religion and medicine

27. Policing the boundaries of medical science: causality, evidence, and the question of religion

Robert C. Fuller

28. Competing religious and biomedical notions of treatment: the case of blood transfusion refusals

Małgorzata Rajtar

29. Ayurveda (re-)invented: engagements with science and religion in colonial India

Poonam Bala

30. Nurses on the frontline of secular and religious knowledges

Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham

31. Religion, culture, and the politics of vaccine hesitancy: perspectives of parents, pundits, and physicians

Paul Bramadat

32. The World Health Organization’s production and enactment of spirituality

Rodrigo Toniol

33. Contemporary psychiatry and psychotherapy’s engagements with religion/spirituality in Europe and North America

Dorothea Lüddeckens and Thomas Lüddeckens

Part V. Religion and epidemics

34. Religion, ‘the Chinese virus,’ and perceptions of Asian Americans as a moral and medical menace

Melissa May Borja

35. Defying responsibility: modes of silence, religious symbolism, and biopolitics in the COVID-19 pandemic

Britta Ohm

36. Christianity and the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Jonathan D. Riddle

37. The impact of COVID-19 on religion in Japan

Levi McLaughlin

38. A cultural map of the pandemic

Tamar El Or

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Dorothea Lüddeckens is Professor for the Study of Religions with a social scientific orientation at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Philipp Hetmanczyk is a teaching and research staff member of the Department for the Study of Religions at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Pamela E. Klassen is Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Justin B. Stein is Instructor in the Department of Asian Studies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia, Canada.