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A Reciprocal Relationship: Siddha Medicine in the Context of a Hindu Guru Organization


Rageth, Nina (2018). A Reciprocal Relationship: Siddha Medicine in the Context of a Hindu Guru Organization. Asian medicine : tradition and modernity, 13(1-2):222-246.

Abstract

This article studies the interplay between Siddha medicine and Santhigiri, a Hindu guru organization in South India. Based on insights gained through ethnographic research in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it analyzes how Santhigiri fashions itself as an indispensable actor in the restoration of Siddha medicine and valorizes its current Siddha medical activities. The article examines the dynamics that facilitate Santhigiri’s patronage of Siddha medicine and contribute to its continuing participation in the Siddha medical system. This social formation is conceptualized through the Bourdieusian framework of capital, arguing that Santhigiri’s appropriation of Siddha medicine bestows symbolic capital upon the organization, enabling it to secure and maintain a favorable position in the field of Hindu guru organizations. Furthermore, the article shows how, by adopting Siddha medicine, a religious organization such as Santhigiri with the necessary structural and financial means and a reputation for transcending economic interests extends the distribution of Siddha medicine beyond the Tamil community. Thus, the article emphasizes the reciprocal relationship between a religious organization and a medical system, arguing for the explanatory potential of conceiving of medicine as effective capital for religious organizations and, vice versa, of religious organizations as actors shaping the realm of medicine in India.

Abstract

This article studies the interplay between Siddha medicine and Santhigiri, a Hindu guru organization in South India. Based on insights gained through ethnographic research in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it analyzes how Santhigiri fashions itself as an indispensable actor in the restoration of Siddha medicine and valorizes its current Siddha medical activities. The article examines the dynamics that facilitate Santhigiri’s patronage of Siddha medicine and contribute to its continuing participation in the Siddha medical system. This social formation is conceptualized through the Bourdieusian framework of capital, arguing that Santhigiri’s appropriation of Siddha medicine bestows symbolic capital upon the organization, enabling it to secure and maintain a favorable position in the field of Hindu guru organizations. Furthermore, the article shows how, by adopting Siddha medicine, a religious organization such as Santhigiri with the necessary structural and financial means and a reputation for transcending economic interests extends the distribution of Siddha medicine beyond the Tamil community. Thus, the article emphasizes the reciprocal relationship between a religious organization and a medical system, arguing for the explanatory potential of conceiving of medicine as effective capital for religious organizations and, vice versa, of religious organizations as actors shaping the realm of medicine in India.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Institute of Religious Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Medicine (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Health Sciences > Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:06 Dec 2018 08:17
Last Modified:30 Nov 2023 08:09
Publisher:Brill
ISSN:1573-420X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/15734218-12341414
Related URLs:https://browzine.com/libraries/1114/journals/9868/issues/4652247 (Publisher)