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Healing the Exposed Being by Robert Thornton

Title Healing the Exposed Being
Author Robert Thornton
Publisher NYU Press
Release 2017-05-01
Category Social Science
Total Pages 304
ISBN 1776140206
Language English, Spanish, and French

Book Summary:

This ethnography explores the Ngoma healing tradition as practiced in eastern Mpumalanga, South Africa. ‘Bungoma’ is an active philosophical system and healing practice consisting of multiple strands, based on the notion that humans are intrinsically exposed to each other and that this is the cause of illness, but also the condition for the possibility of healing. This healing seeks to protect the ‘exposed being’ from harm through augmenting the self. Unlike Western medicine, it does not seek to cure physical ailments but aims to prevent suffering by allowing patients to transform their personal narratives of Self. Like Western medicine, it is empirical and is presented as a ‘local knowledge’ that amounts to a practical anthropology of human conflict and the environment. The book seeks to bring this anthropology and its therapeutic applications into relation with global academic anthropology by explaining it through political, economic, interpretive, and environmental lenses

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