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The Healing GodsComplementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America$
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Candy Brown

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199985784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199985784.001.0001

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I Love My Chiropractor!

I Love My Chiropractor!

Chapter:
(p.91) 4 I Love My Chiropractor!
Source:
The Healing Gods
Author(s):

Candy Gunther Brown

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199985784.003.0005

Chapter four takes as a case study Christian defenses of chiropractic. Chiropractic’s harmonial philosophy of Innate Intelligence is premised on Western metaphysics, and meets religious needs to identify causes, attribute blame, and find significance. Chiropractic’s founders renounced Christianity and modern medicine; until recently, most Americans rejected chiropractic as a medically and religiously suspect “medical cult.” Chiropractors did not enter the mainstream by jettisoning religious views, but by straddling metaphysical, biomedical, and evangelical vocabularies to appeal to a therapeutic culture: claiming the prestige of modern science while appealing to anti-modern longings for natural, spiritually pure remedies. Promotional literature uses scientific-sounding language, and most chiropractors identify as Christians, yet most chiropractors hold and selectively voice vitalistic beliefs. Evangelicals who worried about theological orthodoxy yet wanted pain relief reclassified chiropractic from an illegitimate, New Age spiritual practice to a legitimate, scientific complement to medicine and prayer for divine healing, based on perceived efficacy.

Keywords:   chiropractic, innate intelligence, western metaphysics, harmonial philosophy, scientific-sounding language, therapeutic culture, pain, efficacy, prayer, divine healing

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