Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
God of JusticeRitual Healing and Social Justice in the Central Himalayas$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

William S Sax

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335866.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

Oracles, Gurus, and Distributed Agency

Oracles, Gurus, and Distributed Agency

(p.93) 4 Oracles, Gurus, and Distributed Agency
God of Justice

William S. Sax (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines oracles and gurus, the two main types of ritual specialists in the healing cult of Bhairav. It shows that they are distinguished above all in terms of agency and patiency. The oracles are the gods' patients: they subordinate their personal agency to that of the gods whose vessels they are, and their reputation and success depends on the degree to which they are thought to embody completely the god. The gurus, on the other hand, are masters of the spirits, and their reputation and success depends on the degree to which they are believed to control supernatural beings, turning them into their “disciples,” that is, their patients. The chapter introduces several oracles and gurus, mostly in their own words, and attempt to shows how such relations of agency and patiency work themselves out in practice.

Keywords:   oracles, gurus, agency, patiency, healing rituals, Bhairav, cult

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .