PAPERS FROM THE ARCHIVE OF CUSP: CULTURE-SUBJECTIVITY-PSYCHE

FAITH HEALING IN INDIA– THE CULTURAL QUOTIENT OF THE CRITICAL

Sabah Siddiqui
Kimberly Lacroix
Anup Dhar

Critical psychology, born out of the womb of the west, is an internal critique of the west's intimate principles. Critical psychology, drawing upon a critical version of psychoanalysis and an equally critical version of discourse analysis and setting to dialogue in the process the dissenting children of the west, has tried to carve out a space for a re-formed (not merely reformed) psychology in the west. What can India offer to this field? One, India can offer 'Savage Freud' Girindrasekhar Bose's re-reading of one of the resources of critical psychology: psychoanalysis. Will this add value to the 'critique' that critical psychology embodies ? Perhaps; but we will also have to demonstrate how and where it adds value. Two, India can also offer its own critical reading (a critical reading premised on 'cultural difference') of qualitative methodology – once again considered a vital resource for critical psychology – given the obsession of the mainstream with quantitative psychology. Three, India can offer to the somewhat sedate and contractual clinical setting of the west (paradigmatically standing for the 'professional method' that critical psychology now wishes to re-form) the wholly/holy Other – provisionally termed 'faith healing'. What does faith healing do to the clinical setting? How are relationships of suffering-healing organized in faith driven settings? What clues do they offer to a modern culture that now sees the clinic as the only site of cure, and that has stripped itself of all other resources and imaginations of healing? In this paper, we would also like to suggest that the tradition of critical psychology in India cannot just rely on a critique of psychiatry or mainstream psychology. It has to be, simultaneously, a critique of Orientalism. Critical psychology in India is thus premised on a dual critique. It is critique of both the hegemonic Occident and the Occident's hegemonic description of the Orient. It is critique of both the West's hegemonic principles and principles (emanating from either the West or from the East) that hegemonize the East.

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