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A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church - Oxford Ritual Studies Series (Hardback)
  • A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church - Oxford Ritual Studies Series (Hardback)
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A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church - Oxford Ritual Studies Series (Hardback)

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£120.00
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 15/08/2013
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Drawing on two years of ethnographic field research among the Navajos, this book explores a controversial Native American ritual and healthcare practice: ceremonial consumption of the psychedelic Peyote cactus in the context of an indigenous postcolonial healing movement called the Native American Church (NAC), which arose in the 19th century in response to the creation of the reservations system and increasing societal ills, including alcoholism. The movement is the locus of cultural conflict with a long history in North America, and stirs very strong and often opposed emotions and moral interpretations. Joseph Calabrese describes the Peyote Ceremony as it is used in family contexts and federally funded clinical programs for Native American patients. He uses an interdisciplinary methodology that he calls clinical ethnography: an approach to research that involves clinically informed and self-reflective immersion in local worlds of suffering, healing, and normality. Calabrese combined immersive fieldwork among NAC members in their communities with a year of clinical work at a Navajo-run treatment program for adolescents with severe substance abuse and associated mental health problems. There he had the unique opportunity to provide conventional therapeutic intervention alongside Native American therapists who were treating the very problems that the NAC often addresses through ritual. Calabrese argues that if people respond better to clinical interventions that are relevant to their society's unique cultural adaptations and ideologies (as seems to be the case with the NAC), then preventing ethnic minorities from accessing traditional ritual forms of healing may actually constitute a human rights violation.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199927722
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 243 x 162 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book is an exceptional shift from earlier works. Calabrese's careful analysis of Navajo Native American Church Peyotists and his acquired respect for their ritual experiences is manifested when he explains in detail how he combines experiential with interpretive learning Calabrese makes a strong argument about the difference between contemporary drug use and the ritual use of peyote in the Native American Church. He investigates and argues with systematic rigor from his extensive clinical experience for the goal of accurately providing new interpretations that are informed by the collective and the personal, drawing attention to the various forms of suffering and healing during both colonial and postcolonial times Calabrese is concerned with how this collision of cultures and peoples came to assume its present form and writes eloquently about how different cultures orient themselves to their land. * Dr. InA (c)s Talamantez, Mescalero Apache tribe, History of Religions *
This remarkable 'clinical ethnography' provides a deep, experiential account of the Native American Church, its ritual forms, integration into the multi-generational lives of families, and therapeutic value in countering 'postcolonial disorders' in a Navajo community. The book provides a searing critique of the continued criminalization of the sacramental use of peyote in NAC rituals, demonstrating how the War on Drugs recalls and perpetuates the colonial Inquisition of native peoples associated with the American Indian holocaust. * Byron J Good, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Department of Anthropology, Harvard University *
Joseph D. Calabrese's A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church is an excellent, thought-provoking study of Navajo Native American Church (NAC) members whose ceremonial activities involve ritual peyote use... This text is highly recommended for scholars and students of Indigenous religions, religion in America, religion and healing, and ritual studies. * Nova Religio *
In summary this book is an excellent addition to the existing literature on the Native American Church, especially because it tries to acknowledge and circumvent existing cultural prejudices, in order to engender an analysis rooted in mutual respect. This is not only important for the use of a powerful psychedelic substance, but also to bring to light the negative impact of colonialism and to envision a world in which the pain that is still alive among Native Americans can be healed and overcome. * Pieter Stokkink, OPEN Foundation *
A welcome addition to the literature ... Recommended. * G.R. Campbell, CHOICE *

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