Cover: Pain and Its Transformations: The Interface of Biology and Culture, from Harvard University PressCover: Pain and Its Transformations in HARDCOVER

Pain and Its Transformations

The Interface of Biology and Culture

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Product Details


$71.50 • £57.95 • €64.50

ISBN 9780674024564

Publication Date: 01/31/2008


456 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

32 halftones, 2 line illustrations

Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative


    • 1. Introduction [Sarah Coakley]
    • 2. Opening Remarks [Arthur Kleinman]
    • Response from Anne Harrington
  • Part I: Pain at the Interface of Biology and Culture
    • 3. Deconstructing Pain—A Deterministic Dissection of the Molecular Basis of Pain [Clifford Woolf]
    • 4. Setting The Stage For Pain: Allegorical Tales From Neuroscience [Howard Fields]
    • Response from Anne Harrington: Is Pain Differentially Embodied?
    • Response from Elaine Scarry: Pain and the Embodiment of Culture
    • Discussion: Is There Life Left in the Gate Control Theory?
    • Discussion: The Success of Reductionism in Pain Treatment
  • Part II: Beyond “Coping”: Religious Practices of Transformation
    • 5. Palliative or Intensification? Pain and Christian Contemplation in the Spirituality of the 16th-Century Carmelites [Sarah Coakley]
    • 6. Pain and the Suffering Consciousness: The Alleviation of Suffering in Buddhist Discourse [Luis Gómez]
    • Response from Arthur Kleinman: The Incommensurable Richness of “Experience”
    • Response from Jon Levenson: The Theology of Pain and Suffering in the Jewish Tradition
    • Discussion: The “Relaxation Response”: Can it Explain Religious Transformation?
    • Discussion: Reductionism and the Separation of Suffering and Pain
    • Discussion: The Instrumentality of Pain in Christianity and Buddhism
  • Part III: Grief and Pain: The Mediation of Pain in Music
    • 7. Voice, Metaphysics, and Community: Pain and Transformation in the Finnish Karelian Ritual Lament [Elizabeth Tolbert]
    • 8. Music, Trancing and the Absence of Pain [Judith Becker]
    • Response from John Brust: Music as Ecstasy and Music as Trance
    • Response from Kay Shelemay: Thinking About Music and Pain
    • Discussion: The Presentation and Representation of Emotion in Music
    • Discussion: Neurobiological Views of Music, Emotion, and the Body
    • Discussion: Ritual and Expectation
  • Part IV: Pain, Ritual and the Somatomoral: Beyond the Individual
    • 9. Pain and Humanity in the Confucian Learning of the Heart-and-Mind [Tu Weiming]
    • Response from Laurence Kirmayer: Reflections from Psychiatry on Emergent Mind and Empathy
    • 10. Painful Memories: Ritual and the Transformation of Community Trauma [Jennifer Cole]
    • Response from Stanley Tambiah: Collective Memory as a Witness to Collective Pain
    • Discussion: Pain, Healing, and Memory
  • Part V: Pain as Isolation or Community? Literary and Aesthetic Representations
    • 11. Physical Pain and the Ground of Creating [Elaine Scarry]
    • 12. The Poetics of Anaesthesia: Representations of Pain in the Literatures of Classical India [Martha Ann Selby]
    • Response from Richard Wolf: Doubleness, matam, and Muharram Drumming in South Asia
    • Discussion: The Dislocation, Representation, and Communication of Pain
  • Part VI: When Is Pain Not Suffering and Suffering Not Pain?: Self, Ethics and Transcendence
    • 13. On the Cultural Mediation of Pain [Laurence Kirmayer]
    • Discussion: The Notion of Face
    • 14. The Place of Pain in the Space of Good and Evil [Nicholas Wolterstorff]
    • Response from Charles Hallisey: The Problem of Action
    • 15. Afterword [Sarah Coakley]

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