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Recently published: Religion and AIDS Treatment in Africa: Saving Souls, Prolonging Lives

News vom 11.08.2014

Rijk van Dijk, Hansjörg Dilger, Marian Burchardt & Thera Rasing (eds.)
Religion and AIDS Treatment in Africa: Saving Souls, Prolonging Lives
London: Ashgate, 320 pp.

About the book:

This book critically interrogates emerging interconnections between religion and biomedicine in Africa in the era of antiretroviral treatment for AIDS. Highlighting the complex relationships between religious ideologies, practices and organizations on the one hand, and biomedical treatment programmes and the scientific languages and public health institutions that sustain them on the other, this anthology charts largely uncovered terrain in the social science study of the Aids epidemic.

Spanning different regions of Africa, the authors offer unique access to issues at the interface of religion and medical humanitarianism and the manifold therapeutic traditions, religious practices and moralities as they co-evolve in situations of AIDS treatment. This book also sheds new light on how religious spaces are formed in response to the dilemmas people face with the introduction of life-prolonging treatment programmes.


"In the early days of the HIV epidemic on the African continent, anthropologists studied how religion provided healing and care to AIDS patients in the quasi-absence of medical treatment. As antiretroviral drugs become increasingly available and biomedicine reclaims its therapeutic role, the authors of this remarkable series of ethnographical investigations reverse the perspective and ask a fascinating question: what does this massive and effective treatment do to religion, and how does prolonging the lives affect the religious imagination?"

Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Study, USA and author of Humanitarian Reason. A Moral History of the Present

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SFB 1171 Affective Societies
Berlin Southern Theory Lecture