Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Religious Features of Curanderismo Training and Practice

Original research

Religious Features of Curanderismo Training and Practice

The purpose of this study is to investigate religious features of curanderismo, specifically the role of ostensibly Roman Catholic beliefs and practices in the training and work of curandero/as. The integration of religious beliefs and practices within the rituals of curanderismo and how this potential clash of worldviews negatively and positively impacts clients and practitioners are examined. Interviews were conducted with practicing curandero/as and clients who had sought their services. Factors observed to have potential to facilitate healing include psychological reassurance gained through incorporating familiar religious beliefs and paraphernalia and the therapeutic healing property of features of curanderismo practice, such as herbs used in many remedies. Negative effects may result from feelings of distrust, fear, and embarrassment engendered by seeking care from a curandero/a. Future research targeting the complexities of the relationship between Roman Catholicism and curanderismo might focus specifically on how negotiating this conflict of worldviews may affect health.

Key words

  • Curanderismo;
  • Roman Catholicism;
  • integrative medicine;
  • Mexican Americans

Corresponding Author. Address: Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, One Bear Place # 97236, Waco, TX 76798