Religion, Ritual, and Healing

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 13285

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Philosophy, Law and Political Science, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200134, China
Interests: religious anthropology; urban migration and youth studies; northwest minority culture studies

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Guest Editor
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Interests: anthropology of religion; traditional healing systems and their relation to modern medicine; involuntary resettlement; human impact of dams

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit your original research articles to the Special Issue on Religion, Ritual, and Healing. Ritual and healing systems are deeply rooted in cultural, historical, and religious traditions, and different societies and cultures have developed unique religious practices over time. The study of ritual and healing systems provides valuable insight into the ways in which religion shapes people's lives. This Special Issue seeks to collate theoretical and empirical studies from diverse fields to explore the intersections of ritual and healing systems in different religions, and their role in promoting health and wellbeing across diverse cultural contexts. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: cultural practices shaping healthcare interventions; comparative analyses of religious and ritual practices; cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration in healthcare practices; the role of religious communities; reflections on the role of religion, ritual, and healing in promoting cross-cultural understanding and collaboration; and the impact of modernization and globalization on traditional religious and ritual practices related to healing.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200-300 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor, Prof. Haiyan Xing (xhydls@shnu.edu.cn); the co-Guest Editor, Prof. Dr. Gerald Murray (murranth42@gmail.com); or the Assistant Editor of Religions, Ms. Margaret Liu (margaret.liu@mdpi.com). Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editors to ensure it fits properly within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Haiyan Xing
Prof. Dr. Gerald Murray
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • religion
  • ritual practices
  • symbol
  • healing
  • wellbeing
  • healthcare
  • religious communities
  • globalization

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 8787 KiB  
Article
The Contemporary Shamanic Healing: A Case Study of the Daur Shamanic River Spirit lʊs Ritual
by Minna Sa
Religions 2024, 15(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040484 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 641
Abstract
In traditional shamanism, the sacred mission and responsibility of a shaman is to provide healing and salvation for individuals. Today, with continuous advancements in science, technology, and medical expertise, the content and methods of shamanic healing are quietly evolving, alongside the upholding and [...] Read more.
In traditional shamanism, the sacred mission and responsibility of a shaman is to provide healing and salvation for individuals. Today, with continuous advancements in science, technology, and medical expertise, the content and methods of shamanic healing are quietly evolving, alongside the upholding and preservation of traditional beliefs. The case study of the Daur shamanic lʊs (river spirit) ritual in this paper discusses the concepts of actual disease and virtual disease in contemporary Daur shamanism. By briefly describing the key processes of this ceremony, including the involvement of shaman spirits and the main elements of divine songs, this paper analyzes the characteristics and functions of the modern-day Daur shaman river spirit ceremony. During the ritual dedicated to lʊs, Daur shamans perform symbolic ceremonies while receiving oracles from their spiritual guides. The ceremony itself incorporates various unique healing techniques such as dʊməl, tærmit, xʊræ- xʊræ, arʃan, altəŋ sʊlʊ; kʊtʊr bʊjin, taboo, etc. These distinctive methods aim to achieve preventive healing as well as realistic healing on both the individual and collective levels. In summary, the lʊs ritual itself serves as a transformative process that encompasses diverse forms of healing through its ceremonial practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual, and Healing)
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18 pages, 6423 KiB  
Article
The Double Identities of the Shaman and the Dualistic Attitudes of the State: An Exploration of Contemporary Organizational Shamanism in Northeast China
by Feng Qu
Religions 2024, 15(4), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040415 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 936
Abstract
This paper presents a case study of the first shamanic organization in China and argues that organizational shamanism in Northeast China is characterized by the double identities of the shaman and the dualistic attitudes of the national authorities. The analyses in this paper [...] Read more.
This paper presents a case study of the first shamanic organization in China and argues that organizational shamanism in Northeast China is characterized by the double identities of the shaman and the dualistic attitudes of the national authorities. The analyses in this paper reveal how the shamanic organization created a modernized and globalized space for traditional shamans and specialists to connect with the outside world, enabling them to gain empowerment, legitimacy, and agency. Chinese authorities hold dualistic attitudes towards shamanism: the positive attitude of seeing shamanism as part of cultural heritage has always been coupled with the negative attitude of seeing shamanism as superstition. The studies in this paper demonstrate that organizational shamanism in Northeast China has played a crucial role in negotiating with political authorities and linking local traditions with global discourse. In this sense, the traditional eco-cosmological way of maintaining relationships with natural forces and nonhuman beings has been irrevocably transformed into a cosmopolitical form for the shaman, where the animistic world engages with the outside world, global currency, and political forces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual, and Healing)
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16 pages, 572 KiB  
Article
Syncretism in Miao Healing: Bridging Shamanic Practices and Scientific Treatments with Religion, Ritual, and Local Knowledge
by Zhengfu Chen
Religions 2024, 15(3), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030320 - 6 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The Miao (Hmong) community in Southwest China, deeply entrenched in a religious belief system acknowledging the omnipresent spiritual essence and venerating ancestor worship, perceives life as a harmonious blend of the “soul” and the “body”, intricately interwoven and mutually reinforcing. Within this cultural [...] Read more.
The Miao (Hmong) community in Southwest China, deeply entrenched in a religious belief system acknowledging the omnipresent spiritual essence and venerating ancestor worship, perceives life as a harmonious blend of the “soul” and the “body”, intricately interwoven and mutually reinforcing. Within this cultural milieu, shamanism and healing practices form an inseparable nexus, epitomizing a worldview characterized by the harmonious coexistence of gods, spirits, ancestors, ghosts, and shamans. This study scrutinizes the syncretism employed by the Miao to address illness, bridging shamanic practices and scientific treatments with religion, ritual, and local knowledge. Through methodologies such as autoethnography, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, the research explores a Miao woman’s healing journey, synthesizing shamanic traditions with scientific interventions to reveal the nuanced interplay between traditional customs, environmental influences, and health beliefs. Despite encountering challenges like limited healthcare access and high costs, numerous Miao people seek assistance from shamans, underscoring the community’s resilience in navigating the intricate interrelationship between traditional practices and modern healthcare systems. By emphasizing the significance of syncretism, this study contributes to a nuanced understanding of how the Miao seamlessly integrate shamanic practices with scientific treatments, fostering improved intercultural communication and cultivating culturally sensitive healthcare practices, ultimately enhancing the overall well-being of the Miao community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual, and Healing)
16 pages, 1144 KiB  
Article
An Islamic Perspective on Infection Treatment and Wound Healing
by Tajwar Ali and Haseena Sultan
Religions 2023, 14(8), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14081044 - 14 Aug 2023
Viewed by 9942
Abstract
Muslims regard Islam as a complete code of conduct because it provides guidance in all aspects of life. Islamic teachings cover nearly all areas of knowledge, including medical sciences. Islam offers a unique perspective on how to treat wounds and illnesses. Islamic wound [...] Read more.
Muslims regard Islam as a complete code of conduct because it provides guidance in all aspects of life. Islamic teachings cover nearly all areas of knowledge, including medical sciences. Islam offers a unique perspective on how to treat wounds and illnesses. Islamic wound treatment methods are distinct and recognized by modern science. For Muslims, the only true treatment for illnesses and injuries is that mentioned in the Holy Quran and practiced by the Holy Prophet himself throughout his lifetime. Islamic treatments for various internal and external wounds and illnesses, such as the use of honey, black cumin, Indian incense, cupping, and cauterization, are extremely beneficial in treating both internal and external wounds. Islamic diets are high in beneficial nutrients for the body, such as ginger, figs, dates, and olive oil, and Islamic rituals such as five daily prayers, ablution, and fasting are very effective at keeping the body wound resistant. A healthy body has a strong immune system that can fight off various illnesses and injuries. To reach a definitive conclusion, a thorough examination of Islam’s original and fundamental sources, such as the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet, was carried out. Although modern science has validated the majority of the approaches emphasized by Islamic teachings, much more research is needed to validate Islamic sayings about medical sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual, and Healing)
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