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Religion and Healing in America$
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Linda L. Barnes and Susan S. Sered

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.001.0001

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Afterword: A Physician's Reflections

Afterword: A Physician's Reflections

(p.505) 31: Afterword: A Physician's Reflections
Religion and Healing in America

Harold G. Koenig

Oxford University Press

The description of healing provided in this book has cast a wide net, including much more than just physical healing but also healing in relationships with others, healing in relationship with one's own self, healing in one's relationship with God, and healing on the community or cultural level as well. The focus of biomedicine on the physical alone and the neglect of other parts of the person have improved physical well-being but not their emotional health and spirituality. The resurgence of interest in many forms of religious healing testifies to this failure of allopathic medicine to heal, despite its increasing capacity to cure. Understanding and respecting the unique contributions of allopathic medicine and religious healing systems, each supporting the work of the other in true integration, is what holds the greatest hope for the wholeness and healing of persons. According to physician Ralph Snyderman, dean and chancellor of Duke University Medical Center, a new field called “integrative medicine” will be the medicine of the future.

Keywords:   religious healing, biomedicine, integrative medicine, allopathic medicine, spirituality, emotional health, physical well-being

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