A major theme of this course has been the intersection of religious beliefs and practices with concepts of illness and healing.

A major theme of this course has been the intersection of religious beliefs and practices with concepts of illness and healing. We have examined several supernatural causes of illness, such as magic, witchcraft, and actions of gods and spirits. And have looked at how illness is managed in a number of societies. We have also spent the semester reading in some detail about a particular religious system, Haitian Vodou, as documented in the book Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn.

In this final essay we want to examine healing within the context of Vodou. Describe (1) the “theory” of illness found within Vodou and (2) discuss how Mama Lola and her community deal with illness and healing.