OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society

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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 13 , No. 1

[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 122-142
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jul 2021
Received 26 Jun 2021 Revised 27 Jul 2021 Accepted 29 Jul 2021

The Sacred and the Profane: Wisdom and the Practice of Healing in Òrìṣà Medicine
Kọ́lá Abímbọ́lá
Howard University, the United States


“Disease”, “health” and “wellness” are difficult concepts to define. One reason for this is that they express value judgments that are derived from specific cultures. Thus, I illustrated these claims with a comparative analysis between the structural elements of Òrìṣà/Yorùbà and Western medicine. Herein, I argued that in its journey from Africa to the Americas, Òrìṣà medicine has retained its sacred approach to health, disease, wellness, and wholeness. Specifically, this sacred conception of medicine is founded on two important pillars: (a) a sacred conception of the human person and (b) a supernaturalistic conception of disease and illness. The concert between these two essential pillars of Òrìṣà medicine require the reconceptualization of medicine and effective remedies in contemporary multicultural societies.

Keywords: Òrìṣà medicine, sacred, Àrùn, disease, Ajogun

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Biographical Note

Kọˊlá Abímbọˊlá is an Associate Professor of Philosophy, Howard University, Washington, DC, United States. Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science (London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom); B.A. First Class Honors in Philosophy (Ọbáfẹ́mi Awólọ́wò ̣University, Nigeria); Ph.D. in Law of Evidence and Criminal Justice (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom); and LLB Laws (London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom). Email: