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Spirit CureA History of Pentecostal Healing$
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Joseph W. Williams

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765676.001.0001

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Pentecostal Healing in the Early Twentieth Century

Pentecostal Healing in the Early Twentieth Century

(p.25) 1 Pentecostal Healing in the Early Twentieth Century
Spirit Cure

Joseph W. Williams

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of key features of pentecostal divine healing practices in the early 1900s. Special attention is paid to the relationship between early pentecostals and the medical establishment, and between early pentecostals and rival healers associated with various forms of alternative medicine such as Christian Science. While the chapter emphasizes the sharp antagonism that existed between pentecostals and their competitors, focusing especially on the socioeconomic factors that fueled this tension, it highlights key affinities as well. Though pentecostals tended to reject physicians' use of medicine, this did not translate into a wholesale rejection of science altogether, and some pentecostals approved of other natural healing methods. Furthermore, despite the tensions between early pentecostals and other alternative healers, a number of features of early pentecostalism proved quite similar to the metaphysical religious assumptions animating many of their competitors' healing systems.

Keywords:   divine healing, pentecostalism, alternative medicine, physicians, metaphysical religion, natural healing, Christian Science, medicine, science

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