“Jesus Is My Doctor”: Healing and Religion in African American Women's Lives

Stephanie Y. Mitchem

in Religion and Healing in America

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167962
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850150 | DOI:
“Jesus Is My Doctor”: Healing and Religion in African American Women's Lives

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“Jesus is my doctor”, a claim made by many black women, raises a rich mélange of culturally resonant issues. Faith is articulated as an active, powerful, protective, creative partnership with a God who loves completely and without reservation. Lived in the body, community, and world, African American women's faith often extends to hope for the healing of all people as a natural corollary of envisioning a new, more perfect world. Faith in “Doctor” Jesus is neither superstitious nor contradictory when grounded in such social and ideological understandings. This chapter explores black women's beliefs in faith healing. It is based on interviews of black women, mostly in the Detroit area, conducted between 1996 and 2003 about their understandings of faith, health, healing, and spirituality. First, it considers some of the basic issues when gender and health cross in black women's lives. Then, it looks at the crossings of medicine with the lives of African American women. Finally, it examines accounts from members of the grassroots Detroit Metropolitan Black Women's Health Project.

Keywords: African American women; faith healing; health; spirituality; faith; Detroit; gender; medicine

Chapter.  4524 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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