Medical Narratives and Allegorical Bodies in Indian Medical Literature


ACLS Fellowship Program


Religious Studies

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project examines the ethics of illness and presents a genealogy of the “patient” in the cultural discourses of medicine, religion, and politics in premodern Indian history. By elaborating a hermeneutics of medical discourse, which draws on theories in Religious Studies, Medical Anthropology, and the History of Medicine, this study utilizes narratives of illness in Sanskrit medical literature and Anandarayamakhin’s seventeenth-century allegory, The Joy of Life, as lenses through which to view the role of religion in the historical development and practice of Indian medicine