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This book is the first ethnographic study of Reiki and energetic healing in the British context. Overall the book argues that if we are to build up an accurate and comprehensive picture of healing thought and practice we must locate gender, representation and power as central elements of this project throughout. For to date, even though women healers predominate at the grass roots level in both local and international contexts, this key issue has been largely ignored in most academic studies of 'New Age' and alternative spiritualities - a major oversight. The narrative of women's power and consciousness of healing can be located in the debates between largely male dominated biomedical approaches to health and the apparently more egalitarian holistic discourses and practices (e.g. mind, body and spirit). The women in the study operate within fluid fields of force and engage in personal projects of redefinition, transformation and self-empowerment. Using the work of writers such as Michel Foucault and Meredith McGuire, the book shows that women healers are using Reiki and other healing spiritualities to actively engage in a politics of reclamation.
Judith Macpherson is an independent researcher. She has lectured on healing, women and power at the University of Stirling and has held a position as an Associate Lecturer at The Open University
Table of Contents
Setting the Scene
The 'New Age'
Healing in the 'New Age'
Writing Reiki History
Index of Authors
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.