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September 2022

Cult Med Psychiatry. 1983 Jun; 7(2): 177-98.

Healing and transculturation in Xhosa Zionist practice.

Edwards FS.

The process of transculturation of healing is considered in the cultural belief system and practice of a Xhosa Zionist community. At present in the throes of rapid socio-cultural transition, this community operates with a holistic understanding of health and sickness in which all levels of existence, including the superempirical, are held to be in dynamic mutual interrelationship. The paper examines categories of illness, diagnostic procedures and therapeutic practices in relation to converging traditional Xhosa and Western Christian frames of reference and two illustrative case histories are presented. The use made of heightening of individual and group consciousness is briefly assessed. The Zionist belief system and therapeutic practices are evaluated in terms of cultural accessibility and sociopolitical influences.


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