Saturday, 27 June 2009

Divine healing

I've been interested in divine healing for years having been converted as a mid teenager in a Pentecostal church which frequently practiced prayer for the sick. Although I have no doubt that God can, does, and did heal some of the people some of the time, I have ongoing questions in my mind about many aspects.

Faith in the great physician-divine healing and suffering in American culture 1860-1900 by Heather Curtis looks to be an interesting read-albeit its not that cheap!! (£17.95 on amazon market place!). Certainly Lauren Winner's review has wet my appetite, especially this paragraph..

'One of the most fascinating discussions, in a book full of fascinating discussions, is Curtis' consideration of what it meant to be healed. Many people who were cured by "acting faith" continued to manifest somatic symptoms of their illnesses. They were not necessarily freed of pain. Rather, they were freed from invalidism—they got out of bed, even if doing so was terrifically painful. Being healed, in other words, did not involve only a change of physical state. It also involved an "epistemological reorientation" in which, even though workaday sensory perception might suggest that healing had not occurred, the eyes of faith saw healing. Thus, making sense of suffering and managing pain were as much interpretive acts as biological facts.'
Lauren Winner

This sounds awfully close to a 'healing' of one's attitude to one's illness rather than the illness itself-a sort of aplication of CBT-it's what you think about your situation that defines you rather than the situation per se.


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