Magic, Medicine and Religion
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This paper compares modern day holistic healthcare to ancient therapeutic magic practices in the ancient Mediterranean world. The paper looks at the weaknesses of Western medicine and argues that our role in creation is to observe carefully, pay attention always, and to harmonize with creation. The paper contends that mental obsessions of any type, whether religious or scientific, tend to interfere with our ability to pay attention.
From the Paper:"Magic and science, medicine and religion have very many strong similarities. The restructuring of the world by humans and the attempt to comprehend and control unseen forces are perhaps obvious enough. There are other similarities that are less usually noticed. The role of ritual and rhetoric in each of these fields is especially noteworthy, both as a means of symbolically representing the world and as a means of actually restructuring it. If the focus is on healing, rather than cognitive content, many of the differences become far less salient. Sin, fault or error has led to a personal or social problem. "The narrative of sickness needs to be negotiated into harmony with the diagnosis of causation. There is then a need to construct a story of cure, healing or remedy that will result in what can be accepted as individual or collective health."2 This goes against the grain for many historians and anthropologists, but it has the advantage that similarities begin to emerge, perhaps resulting from our common humanity. The power of words and ritual acts to heal or harm seems virtually universal, although the contexts are very various. "The frequent conflict between and among magical, medical and religious systems is probably best understood as the result of intense competition for the same territory, fought out by rhetorical means, rather than as an inevitable conflict between incompatible cultures and belief systems. 3 Instead of looking for science in the past or in other cultures, perhaps we should look for magic in our own."
Cite this Term Paper:
Magic, Medicine and Religion (2003, November 13) Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/magic-medicine-and-religion-37603/
"Magic, Medicine and Religion" 13 November 2003. Web. 24 September. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/magic-medicine-and-religion-37603/>