Chapter

The Healing Genes

Kaja Finkler

in Religion and Healing in America

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167962
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850150 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.003.0030
The Healing Genes

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At one time it was believed that traditional healing would disappear in light of the great success of biomedicine, especially since religion and religious healing are usually juxtaposed as mutually antagonistic to science and biomedicine. However, recent evidence refutes this assumption. In fact, more than thirty medical schools have introduced courses on the relationship between spirituality and medicine. This chapter examines the religious underpinnings of what is ostensibly a purely scientific enterprise, the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the new genetics that form part of contemporary biomedicine. It argues that ideologies of the HGP, which utilizes the most advanced technology of the times, are sustained by religious ideas based on Judaism and Christianity. Although it may appear that contemporary scientific ideas are far removed from religious beliefs, closer scrutiny reveals that Western religious notions undergird the HGP. The chapter begins with a brief overview of modern society's shift to the secularization of medicine and then turn to the new genetics, which became an integral part of biomedicine.

Keywords: Human Genome Project; genetics; religious healing; religion; biomedicine; spirituality; Judaism; Christianity; secularization; science

Chapter.  6290 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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