Sacred Pain Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul

ISBN-10: 0195169433
ISBN-13: 9780195169430
Edition: N/A
Authors: Ariel Glucklich
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Description: Physical pain ranks as one of the great evils of human life, not far behind death. Yet, religious individuals and groups around the world and throughout history have inflicted pain on themselves and on others in pursuit of religious goals. Despite  More...

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Book details

List price: $44.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/30/2003
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 5.71" wide x 8.90" long x 0.71" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Physical pain ranks as one of the great evils of human life, not far behind death. Yet, religious individuals and groups around the world and throughout history have inflicted pain on themselves and on others in pursuit of religious goals. Despite this, no broad explanation for the uses of pain has emerged, and this book seeks to remedy this lack. Glucklich shows that a ritually controlled regimen of pain can produce a transformation of consciousness in which personal identity gives way to identification with God, Truth, or other spiritual ideals. This phenomenon is explored in many cultural and historical contexts, including rituals of possession and exorcism, rites of passage, and the tortures of the Inquisition. Glucklich also shows how the modern invention of ansthesia transformed our perception of pain and undermined the idea that pain can be good. This book helps us to understand "sacred pain" from the perspective of its practitioners, opening a window onto a mysterious world of experience.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Religious Ways of Hurting
Pain and Transcendence: The Neurological Grounds
The Psychology and Communication of Pain
Self and Sacrifice: A Psychology of Sacred Pain
Ghost Trauma: Changing Identity through Pain
The Emotions of Passage
The Tortures of the Inquisition and the Invention of Modern Guilt
Anesthetics and the End of "Good Pain"
Conclusion
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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