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Therapeutic evangelism—Confessional technologies, antiretrovirals and biospiritual transformation in the fight against Aids in West Africa

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the striking similarities between religious forms and mainstream AIDS prevention and treatment campaigns. Despite being carried out by a trans-national assemblage of AIDS activists scientists, philanthropists, therapeutic entrepreneurs, as well as humanitarian and development agencies, these campaigns are strikingly similar. The chapter focuses on the notion of moral economy, as first developed by the English historian E. P. Thompson to describe price revolts subsequent to the introduction of capitalist land tenure, and subsequently used by James Scott in his ethnography of peasants in South East Asia. It also focuses on incitement to disclose, operationalised through the dissemination of these technologies, created a market for testimonials that confronted people living with HIV.

Keywords: AIDS; E. P. Thompson; West Africa



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