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The Alzheimer Conundrum by Margaret Lock

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Chapter 7

Living with Embodied Omens

[A] man’s future health and happiness depends on conditions that are already in existence and can be exposed by the oracles and altered. The future depends on the disposition of mystical forces that can be tackled here and now. Moreover, when the oracles announce that a man will fall sick … his “condition” is therefore already bad, his future is already part of him.

—E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande1

From time immemorial divination has been an integral part of the everyday lives of humankind. Whether its practice involves an examination of the entrails of sacrificed birds and animals, consultation with oracles in trance-like states, or sessions with one of any number of ...

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