Posts Tagged ‘medicine’
MEDICINE, RELIGION, WITCHCRAFT
Rome, 30 th November – 1st December 2012
SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY OF ROME
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, CULTURES, RELIGIONS
P.le A. Moro, 5 – 00185 Roma
Rationale of the workshop
Medicine, religion, witchcraft are three apparently different domains of ideas, knowledge, practices and beliefs, as well as three different domains of anthropological investigation characterized by rather independent objectives, methods and theoretical frameworks.
Medicine and religion have often been tackled together or at least approached with similar goals, and interconnected in the observation and analysis. Traditional medicine and witchcraft have been often superimposed or confused by colonial powers and practices, and even today the popular discourse confuses them. Religion and witchcraft show some links both in practices and beliefs that have been explored only partially. The anthropological interest in these three fields of investigation is almost always intermingled with questions and arguments of political, economic, psychological nature that dealt more with each field separately than with the complex web of interrelations among them.
We wish to propose an integrated method of study which may give the opportunity of working in the perspective of analyzing that complex web, and producing a new and deeper anthropological awareness and capability in the interpretation of events, processes and representations implying the three categories and fields, as well as their socio-psychological, economic-political and symbolic backgrounds. The workshop aims at contributing to the construction of such a new perspective through the proposal of developing analyses and discussions that put witchcraft at the centre in order to reflect on its reciprocal interrelations with medicine, on one side, and religion, on the other, keeping the system of relations between medicine and religion as an empirical and theoretical horizon.
Witchcraft turned again as a topical subject since the late Eighties of last Century mainly for its links with wealth and power, and in relation to its supposed universality within the globalization process, giving rise consequently to a strong interest in the postmodern wave, highly influenced by the foucaultian theses. The hidden risk in this intellectual trend lies in the allurement of proposing again, even though in terms radically new, the issue of the function of witchcraft as a factor of social cohesion in the context of the practices and representations in a globalized world. Therefore, the understanding of the deep nature of witchcraft, and its mysterious and enigmatic principles of reality, and its links with the material and spiritual aspects of reality – culturally and scientifically represented by medicine and religion – runs the risk of escape completely.
1. Aria Dr.Matteo (PostDoc, Sapienza University of Rome)
2. Bellagamba Prof. Alice (Professor of Anthropology, University of Milan Bicocca)
3. Casciano Davide (MA student, Sapienza University of Rome)
4. Ceriana Mayneri Dr. Andrea (PostDoc, Université Catholique de Louvain)
5. Costantini Osvaldo (PhD student, Sapienza University of Rome)
6. Ekem Rev. Prof. John David K. (Academic Dean, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon,
7. Lupo Prof. Alessandro (Professor of Anthropology, Sapienza University of Rome)
8. Meyer Prof. Birgit (Professor of Religious Studies, University of Utrecht)
9. Pavanello Prof. Mariano (Professor of Anthropology, Sapienza University of Rome)
10. Schirripa Prof. Pino (Professor of Anthropology, Sapienza University of Rome)
11. Vasconi Dr. Elisa (PhD, University of Siena)
Department of Religious Studies and Theology, Trans 14, 3512 JK Utrecht, Netherlands;
http://www.uu.nl/hum/staff/BMeyer/0; co-editor of Material Religion
th November 2012, morning – 1st Session (Witchcraft:
Mariano Pavanello, Birgit Meyer, Opening of the workshop
Matteo Aria, Witchcraft, biopower and extraordinary anthropology
Mariano Pavanello, A hypothesis on the nature of African witchcraft
th November 2012, afternoon – 2nd Session (Medicine, Religion,
Witchcraft in ethnographic perspective)
Andrea Ceriana Mayneri, Sorcellerie, enfance et abandon en Afrique
Alessandro Lupo, Patients, mystical journeys and health care:
negotiating therapeutic paths in Mexican contexts of medical pluralism
Pino Schirripa, Where Christianity is ancient. Pentecostalism, evil in the
world and break with the past in Ethiopia
Osvaldo Costantini, B Yesus Sïm (in the name of Jesus). Some notes
about Eritrean and Ethiopian Pentecostal churches in Rome (Italy)
20.00 dinner at gazebo restaurant of
“Casa dell’Aviatore” (v.le Università, 20)
st December 2012, morning – 3rd Session (Medicine, Religion,
Witchcraft in politics and history )
Rev. John David K. Ekem Medicine, Religion and Healing. An African
Alice Bellagamba, Politics and African witchcraft: a long term discussion
Elisa Vasconi, Witchcraft, Traditional Medicine and Colonial Rule in
Davide Casciano, Pentecostalism, HIV and Witchcraft in Nigeria
Birgit Meyer, Conclusions
Demons and Illness: Theory and Practice from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period
Call for Papers
Centre for Medical History: University of Exeter
22 – 24th April 2013
In many near eastern traditions, demons appear as a cause of illness: most famously in the stories of possessed people cured by Christ. These traditions influenced perceptions of illness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in later centuries but the ways in which these cultures viewed demons and illness have received comparatively little attention. For example, who were these demons? How did they cause illness? Why did they want to? How did demons fit into other explanations for illness? How could demonic illnesses be cured and how did this relate to other kinds of cure? How far did medical or philosophical theory affect how people responded to demonic illnesses in practice?
This conference will take a comparative approach, taking a wide geographical and chronological sweep but confining itself to this relatively specific set of questions. Because Jewish, Christian and Islamic ideas about demons and illness drew on a similar heritage of ancient religious texts from New Testament times to the early modern period there is real scope to draw meaningful comparisons between the different periods and cultures. What were the common assumptions made by different societies? When and why did they differ? What was the relationship between theory and practice? We would welcome papers which address these issues for any period between antiquity and the early modern period, and which discuss Christian, Jewish or Islamic traditions.
The conference is hosted by the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter, on April 22nd-24th, 2013.
Please send abstracts by 15th September 2012 to the conference organizers,
Catherine Rider and Siam Bhayro, Centre for Medical History, University of Exeter:
email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.