Vienna 2004 - the 8th Biennial Conference of EASA

„Prehistory” of the network

The idea of a discourse group dealing with issues of spiritual healing and sacral communication arose first in Vienna at the 8th Biennial Conference of EASA among the participants of the workshop entitled

Healing and sacral communication in the context of cosmologies of suffering in societies in transition Workshop at Biennial Conference of EASA, Vienna

Convenors:
Imre Lázár, Semmelweis University, Budapest
Agita Lúse, University of Bristol

The workshop proposes to deal with multiple realities of human suffering in context of different cosmologies, with special focus on healing and diverse forms of sacral communication. Our aim is to explore the dynamics of religious, spiritual and sacral representations including the metaphors and explanatory models that concern health and illness. We suggest that attention be paid to diverse semantic networks of suffering and the embodied experience of psychosocial distress in the context of different (religious, quasi-religious or secularised) worldviews.
Changes of human suffering can be discussed in the perspective of the individual body, the social body and the body politic (Lock & Scheper-Hughes 1987). Institutional, technological and conceptual changes regarding physical and emotional pain are to be interpreted in the framework of social and cultural anthropology.
Ideological changes, multicultural pluralisation of attitudes toward the world, the new interest in spiritualist healing practices and sacral communication (charismatic churches, New Age practices, urban shamanism etc) will be discussed with reference to key texts of medical anthropology. The multicultural diversity of perception and embodiment of physical and emotional suffering and pain offers a comparative framework to discuss fieldwork findings in changing societies, such as the post-communist Latvia and Hungary, as well as in Western countries where social and cultural changes have been brought about by post-industrialisation and globalisation.
Healing and sacral communication in the context of cosmologies of suffering in societies in transition
Workshop at Biennial Conference of EASA, Vienna


Ritual enactment of suffering
Talking with the departing ones: shamanic death ritual in a post-socialist society
Galina Lindquist, University of Stockholm

Narratives of the Body: The Expression of Traumatic War Experiences in Women’s Religious Practices in Contemporary Croatia
Michaela Schäuble, University of Bremen

Metaphors of suffering and strategies of healing
HIV/AIDS-Metaphors, and spiritual healing in Urban Zimbabwe
Alexander Rödlach, University of Florida

Passages through multiple cosmologies: addictions and trances
Imre Lázár, Semmelweis University, Budapest

Breaking the silence within. New vocabularies of the self and emotion in post-socialist Latvia
Agita Lúse, University of Bristol

Broadcasting sacral reality: media cosmologies in transition
Csaba Vass and Marcellina Spannraft
Károli Gáspár Reformed University, Budapest

Metaphors of the New Age Cleaning Practices
Dorota Hall, Polish Academy of Sciences

Diverse Ways. The provision and use of ‘traditional Chinese medicine’ (TCM), among Chinese groups in urban U.K.
Maria Tighe, Brunel University

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