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Die Volksheiler in Peru während der spanischkolonialen Inquisition

Walter Andritzky
Anthropos
Bd. 82, H. 4./6. (1987), pp. 543-566
Published by: Anthropos Institut
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40463479
Page Count: 24
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Die Volksheiler in Peru während der spanischkolonialen Inquisition
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Abstract

The Spanish conquest of Peru took place at the same time as the Catholic Church in Europe had to face heretical movements and began its witch-hunt. In a century when "scientific" and empirical thinking had emerged and had influenced academic medicine, the Inquisition was cleansing the territory of witches who, for the greater part, were healers. Reports by chroniclers concerning religion and history in the Spanish overseas territories were deeply influenced by dogmas and the belief-system of the Inquisition. - Since Indian indigenous medicine was intimately connected with Andean religion and philosophy, their healing rites have been stigmatized as "superstition" and as "deceit." These labels play a certain role in scientific publications about "Curanderismo" even today. It seems necessary to clear the historical reputation of the healers. They have prevented, in many cases, the unprejudiced consideration of the ritual procedures of the so-called "folk-medicine." What have been labelled as "superstition" and "deceit" are often procedures which possess, in the framework of modern psychology, a healing dimension. - The article treats of the background of a set of cognitive labels for the "witch syndrome," whereby a person is identified as a witch; and it discusses the Inquisition as an institution of social control in the early Spanish colonial society of Peru. Some examples show the destiny of the Andean healers, and of the migrant European and imported Negro healers who contributed much to the health-care of the Peruvian people of the time.

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