Kranksein, Heilen und Gesundbleiben im Schnittpunkt von Religion und Medizin

Curare 27.2004:27-39

##Illness, healing and health between religion and medicine
Towards the end of the 1970s, mainly US-American proponents of the still young medical anthropology reassessed perspectives of the anthropology of religion on ritual responses to misfortune and affliction and replaced them with a more focused concern with personal and social responses to illness and healing. Twenty years later, the AG Medical Anthropology of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde organized several meetings and workshops to reconsider critical challenge and thematic shift of these medical anthropologists from hindsight. This led to two insights: (1) As a product of a relatively young European differentiation between "religion" and "medicine", this analytical separation can neither be presumed nor applied in non-European or historical societies, and the critical view of developments in industrial nations of the West also shows the impossibility of a strict distinction between a "rational" healing practice and an expectation of salvation. (2) The question about the divisibility of religion and medicine can thus at best be read as a justified claim for a distinction between the anthropology of religion and medical anthropology, but this clearly requires further conceptual work on the themes of both sub-disciplines. A first step in this direction is the concept of social suffering which re-integrates the broader religious and social dimensions into the analysis of illness and aftliction.##

Keywords: medicine and religion, religion and medicine, illness, social suffering, suffering