Religion and Healing in America

Linda L. Barnes, Susan S. Sered

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

27 Scopus citations


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. At the same time, changes in immigration laws brought to the United States new cultural communities, each with their own approaches to healing. Cuban santeros, Haitian mambos and oungans, Cambodian Buddhist priests, Chinese herbalist-acupuncturists, and Hmong shamans are only a few of the newer types of American religious healers, often found practicing within blocks of prestigious biomedical institutions. This book offers a collection of chapters examining this new reality. It brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives to explore the field of religious healing as understood and practiced in diverse cultural communities in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages551
ISBN (Electronic)9780199850150
ISBN (Print)9780195167962
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2005 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Alternative therapies
  • Biomedical practice
  • Churches
  • Complementary therapies
  • Faith healing
  • Healing
  • Hospice
  • Medical care
  • Religious healing
  • Synagogues


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