Faith Healing

faith healing, relief or cure of bodily ills through some religious attitude on the part of the sufferer. In the Jewish and Christian traditions prayers for cures and miracles are usual; thus the apostles developed a ritual of healing (James 5.14–16; see also miracle). In the Catholic churches healing has centered about the sacraments of the Eucharist and anointing of the sick and around shrines (e.g., Lourdes and Sainte Anne de Beaupré) and relics. Since 1800 there have appeared a number of Protestant faith-healing groups, e.g., that of John Alexander Dowie, the Emmanuel movement, and the Peculiar People. The followers of Christian Science, approaching the problem differently, do not consider their system one of faith healing. They consider humans as Godlike and therefore not subject to material ills. Faith healing is of interest in the fields of psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy.

See M. T. Kelsey, Healing and Christianity (1973); S. Leek, The Story of Faith Healing (1973); D. E. Harrell, Jr., All Things are Possible (1976); J. Randi, The Faith Healers (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Faith Healing: Selected full-text books and articles

Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing By Candy Gunther Brown Oxford University Press, 2011
When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law By Shawn Francis Peters Oxford University Press, 2007
Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures By Joe Nickell Prometheus Books, 1993
Librarian's tip: Includes "How Faith Healing 'Cures'"
Justification by Faith By Schneider, Carl E The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 29, No. 1, January 1999
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy By James R. Lewis Prometheus Books, 2001
Librarian's tip: Chap. 16 "Christian Science and the New Thought Tradition"
Wondrous Events: Foundations of Religious Belief By James McClenon University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of faith healing in multiple chapters
The Medicine Men: Oglala Sioux Ceremony and Healing By Thomas H. Lewis University of Nebraska Press, 1992
Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking By Leonard Zusne; Warren H. Jones Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1989 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: "Miraculous Healing" begins on p. 34
Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion By Marc Galanter Oxford University Press, 1990
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