This panel explores various beliefs, narratives and practices of ‘healing’ and conceptualizations of ‘sickness/illness’ and ‘health’ in Europe and beyond. We invite papers that focus on new multi-cultural formations, on ‘local’ and ‘global(ized)’, religious and secular traditions and inventions.
‘Health’, ‘wellness’, as well as ‘sickness’, ‘illness’ or ‘disease’ can be understood not only as optimum functioning of the physical body, but also felt as an psycho-somatic, spiritual state. The latter implies a wide range of subjective understandings of ‘sickness’ and ‘health’, and consequent choices of healing practices. It can be argued that ‘wellness’ (and its synonym – ‘healthy’) as a concept implies the sense of ‘being whole’, in a harmony between the inner and the outer, the micro and the macroworlds and environments. Current understandings of healing strategies shift from the ‚healing of myself’ towards ‘the healing of the Planet’, and vice versa. Becoming healthier can be seen as an individual practice, but also as form of activism, where bonding exists between an individual, and the world. In what contexts do healing strategies and practices adhere to dominant culture, and when do they carry a character of ‘alternative’, ‘fringe’? What kind of knowledge, values, beliefs, and traditions are beyond healing practices? What cultural contexts do they come from or adhere to? We invite papers that explore various conventional, non-conventional, alternative, traditional, folk, new-age, religious or secular understandings and practices of ‘health’, and ‘healing’. We welcome studies that trace changes, transformations and continuities, new fashions, invented traditions, imaginaries and images of ‘health’, and ‘healing’ in Europe and beyond. This includes (but not limits to): spiritual and ecological movements, New-Age, virtual communities, (new) religiosities, etc. We invite panelists to share their insights on ontological and epistemological aspects of ‘healing’ and feeling ‘healthy’.