Faith in the Great Physician : Suffering and Divine Healing in American Culture, 1860-1900

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2007-10-29
Publisher(s): Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
List Price: $56.00

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Faith in the Great Physician tells the story of how participants in the evangelical divine healing movement of the late nineteenth century transformed the ways Americans coped with physical affliction and pursued bodily health. Examining the politics of sickness, health, and healing during this period, Heather D. Curtis encourages critical reflection on the theological, cultural, and social forces that come into play when one questions the purpose of suffering and the possibility of healing. Curtis finds that advocates of divine healing worked to revise a deep-seated Christian ethic that linked physical suffering with spiritual holiness. By engaging in devotional disciplines and participating in social reform efforts, proponents of faith cure embraced a model of spiritual experience that endorsed active service, rather than passive endurance, as the proper Christian response to illness and pain. Emphasizing the centrality of religious practices to the enterprise of divine healing, Curtis sheds light on the relationship among Christian faith, medical science, and the changing meanings of suffering and healing in American culture.

Author Biography

Heather D. Curtis is an assistant professor of the history of Christianity and American religion at Tufts University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
A Thorn in the Flesh: Pain, Illness, and Religion in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Americap. 26
Resisting Resignation: The Rise of Religions Healing in the Late Nineteenth Centuryp. 51
Acting Faith: The Devotional Ethics and Gendered Dynamics of Divine Healingp. 81
The Use of Means: Divine Healing as Devotional Practicep. 109
Houses of Healing: Sacred Space, Social Geography, and Gender in Divine Healingp. 139
The Lord for the Body, the Gospel for the Nations: Divine Healing and Social Reformp. 167
Conclusionp. 192
Notesp. 211
Bibliographyp. 241
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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