The Global Character of Nineteenth-Century Divine Healing
The International Conference on Divine Healing and True Holiness (1885) gathered participants from continental Europe, Great Britain, North America, and Australia. The nineteenth-century divine healing movement grew out of holiness movements and spread through institutional structures such as healing homes, conventions, publications; transnational relational networks; appropriation of modern technologies of travel and communication; and cultivation of a sense of universal community. Key leaders included Johann Christoph Blumhardt, Dorothea Trudel, Otto Stockmayer, Samuel Zeller, Charles Cullis, A. B. Simpson, William Boardman, and Elizabeth Baxter. Tensions arose over leadership questions, such as whether individuals had special gifts of healing and women’s ministry, and whether faith demanded an anti-medical stance or medical means were legitimate. Balancing unity and heterogeneity contributed to the movement’s vitality and influence on the twentieth-century Pentecostal movement as participants from diverse theological, social, and regional backgrounds fashioned theologies and practices of healing that reflected global sensibilities and local contexts.
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