Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 423–425 | Cite as

Sacred Modernity: Religion, Infertility, And Technoscientific Conception Around The Globe

  • Aditya Bharadwaj

The contours of what constitutes “modern” seldom map onto how it is enacted globally. Modernity at its broadest and simplest is a disenchantment project that seeks to uncover material reality by purging it of divine, sacred, and mythic obfuscation. From Euro-American contexts to global locales like South America, South Asia, and the Muslim Middle East, the disjunction between modernist theory and practice, imagination and enactment, form and content is in a constant state of renegotiation. In the latter half of the 20th century, as in the new century, the “leaky” secular–sacred divide does not become a precondition for the existence of “new modernities,” but rather modernity itself. That such a divide ever existed is itself a modernist fantasy. Fedrick Engels, in the introduction to the Dialectics of Nature, records the grand rapture, a “revolutionary act” through which “natural science declared its independence from the ecclesiastical authority in the affairs of nature” (Engels 1986:...



I am grateful to the CMP editors and the editorial team, especially Nita Sembrowich, for the help and support in assembling this unique collection of papers and commentaries. I would like to sincerely thank the contributors and commentators who have not only enriched this collection with their thoughtful and insightful contributions but have for long inspired, influenced and shaped my anthropological engagement with human reproduction and its many bewildering complexities.


  1. The Différance Engine: A Practice of Everyday Theory 2006 Electronic document, http:/www./
  2. Engels, Frederick 1986 Introduction to Dialectics of Nature. In Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Selected Works. pp. 338–353. Moscow: Progress Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Haraway, Donna (1997) Modest*Witness@Second*Millenium. FemaleMan*Meets*OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Roberts, Elizabeth, and Aditya Bharadwaj 2003 Divine Interventions and Sacred Conceptions: Religion in the Global Practice of IVF. American Anthropological Association Annual Conference Panel, ChicagoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Political StudiesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

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