Religion and Healing: The Four Expectations

Martin E. Marty

in Religion and Healing in America

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167962
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850150 | DOI:
Religion and Healing: The Four Expectations

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Religious approaches to healing and physical well-being can present physicians, nurses, medical researchers, and other health care professionals with a veritable maze. The claims of flamboyant and well-publicized “faith healers” can puzzle, even put off those who stand as observers. At the same time, we know that millions of educated and serious people in our scientific age do connect the faith dimension of their lives with their search for healing. Caught between these are less easily categorized people desiring to be well: patients with diseases or disabilities, and sufferers who seek help. For them, neither medical materialism nor faith healing alone suffices to account for reality or provided sufficient resources for healing. This chapter offers four answers to the question: What precisely do people have in mind when they express the hope or make the claim that their faith has something to do with the understandings of illness and health and the processes of healing? The categories discussed are autogenesis, synergism, empathy, and monergism.

Keywords: religion; faith; healing; autogenesis; synergism; empathy; monergism; health; illness; physical well-being

Chapter.  8394 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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