Suzanne Newcombe speaks on 'Immortality and miracle cures: The stretching of language in yoga and ayurveda'

21.11.2018

Suzanne Newcombe speaks on 'Immortality and miracle cures: The stretching of language in yoga and ayurveda'

Suzanne Newcombe will be sharing her work at the University of Kent's research seminar for Religious Studies on Wednesday 21 November 2018.

1-2.30pm Gulbenkian building, University of Kent.

Title: Immortality and miracle cures: The stretching of language in yoga and ayurveda

Abstract: Yoga and ayurveda are both known for making claims for healing and longevity which appear to be unverifiable by empirical evidence. Swami Ramdev, India's most popular televangelist has made claims for his programme of yoga which include the curing of AIDS, HIV, cancer and all sorts of specific conditions through a set programme of yoga asana and pranayama. Historically, immortality has been claimed in India through the ingestion of certain compounds, undergoing certain longevity treatments, as well as through specific yogic techniques. Drawing on my own ethnographic research with Swami Ramdev and my History of Science in South Asia article on the 1938 kayakalpa treatment of Pandit Malaviya as a starting point, I would like to use this seminar as an opportunity to discuss ways of reading and understanding what might appear  as outlandish claims.

Further details to follow.

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