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Other Worlds, Other Bodies: Embodied Epistemologies and Ethnographies of Healing

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Other Worlds, Other Bodies

Embodied Epistemologies and Ethnographies of Healing

Edited by Emily Pierini, Alberto Groisman, and Diana Espírito Santo

Epilogue by Roger Canals

293 pages, 4 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-846-1 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80073-847-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This book makes some highly original and extraordinarily important contributions to anthropology and religious studies that will appeal to a wide readership across these disciplines, from students and specialists of healing and spiritualism to those with an interest in scholarly theories and methods of illuminating the unknown.” • Katherine Swancutt, King's College London

“This volume is an illustration of the productive and exciting developments in the field of the anthropology of religion, in particular to what concerns health and healing practices, covering novel approaches and territories that experimentally transcend the classic formulations and interpretations on "spirit possession".” • Ruy Llera Blanes, University of Gothenburg


When approaching the multiplicity of the spiritual experiences of healing, ethnographers are often presented with ideas of the existence of “other” worlds that may intersect with the so-called “material” or “physical” worlds. This book proposes a sensory ethnography of healing with a focus on ethnographic knowing as embedded in an embodied epistemology of healing. Epistemological embodiment signals that personal scholarly experience of the “unknown”—be it in the form of trance, or as the embodiment of an “other”—shapes the concepts of healing, body, trance, self, and matter by which ethnographers craft out analysis.

Emily Pierini is Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. She is the author of several journal articles and chapters, and the book Jaguars of the Dawn: Spirit Mediumship in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer (Berghahn, 2020).

Alberto Groisman is a Volunteer Professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. He co-coordinates with Emily Pierini for “HEAL - Network for the Ethnography of Healing”.

Diana Espírito Santo is Associate Professor at the Escuela de Antropología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is the author of three monographs and has co-edited several volumes, including The Dynamic Cosmos: Movement, Paradox and Experimentation in the Anthropology of Spirit Possession (Bloomsbury, 2022).

Book Launch at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy as part of the conference “Sapienza in Trance: Healing, Cooperation, and Imagination”:

Subject: Anthropology of ReligionAnthropology (General)Medical Anthropology


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