Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Religious Studies

Major Professor

Darrell J. Fasching, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Carolyn Ellis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Schenck, Ph.D.

Keywords

Ethics, Illness, Spirituality, Relationality, Religion

Abstract

The person experiencing chronic or protracted illness is confronted with a complex array of physical, emotional and spiritual trials. This thesis explores how chronic illness can be viewed through the lens of the shamanic experience of dismemberment and re-memberment and shows how clinical, narrative, and relational models on their own are insufficient to speak meaningfully to illness experiences, but the integration of aspects of each of these models when coupled with shamanic initiation experience creates an innovative model for patients and those with whom they are in relationship.

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