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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Beginning with focused definitions of medicine and religion, this chapter then turns to three themes at the center of the intersection of religion and medicine. It discusses the authority of biomedicine as a dominant frame for medicine (Western scientific medicine, which has drawn on the organizational effectiveness of religious groups in Europe and North America), as well as challenges to this frame from other healing traditions. The author also considers the significance of commodification for both biomedical and spiritual approaches to healing, and examines the significance of colonialism for contests between systems of healing. With the use of specific examples, the chapter focuses on issues of gender, racialization, and embodiment in the politics of the interchange between religion and medicine.

Keywords: Ayurvedic medicine, biological fallacy, biomedicine, healing, medicalization, medicine, religion

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