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Religion and Healing in America

Linda L. Barnes and Susan S. Sered


Throughout much of the modern era, faith healing received attention only when it came into conflict with biomedical practice. During the 1990s, however, American culture changed dramatically and religious healing became a commonplace feature of the country's society. Increasing numbers of mainstream churches and synagogues began to hold held “healing services” and “healing circles”. The use of complementary and alternative therapies—some connected with spiritual or religious traditions—became widespread, and the growing hospice movement drew attention to the spiritual aspects of medical care. ... More

Keywords: faith healing, biomedical practice, religious healing, churches, synagogues, healing, complementary therapies, alternative therapies, hospice, medical care

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780195167962
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Linda L. Barnes, editor
Boston University School of Medicine

Susan S. Sered, editor
Bar Ilan University



Part I Sites of Healing: Domestic Spaces, Public Spaces

Part II Healing from Structural Violence: La Cultura Cura

Part III Gendering of Suffering and Healing

Part IV Synergy, Syncretism, and Appropriation

Part V Intersections with Medical and Psychotherapeutic Discourses

Part VI Conclusion

End Matter