faith healing

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faith healing,

relief or cure of bodily ills through some religious attitude on the part of the sufferer. In the Jewish and Christian traditions prayers for cures and miracles are usual; thus the apostles developed a ritual of healing (James 5.14–16; see also miraclemiracle,
preternatural occurrence that is viewed as the expression of a divine will. Its awe and wonder lie in the fact that the cause is hidden. The idea of the miracle occurs especially with the evolution of those highly developed religions that distinguish between natural law
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). In the Catholic churches healing has centered about the sacraments of the Eucharist and anointing of the sickanointing of the sick,
sacrament of the Orthodox Eastern Church and the Roman Catholic Church, formerly known as extreme unction. In it a sick or dying person is anointed on eyes, ears, nostrils, lips, hands, feet, and sometimes, in the case of men, the loins, by a priest while
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 and around shrines (e.g., LourdesLourdes
, town (1990 pop. 16,581), Hautes-Pyrénées dept., SW France, at the foot of the Pyrénées. It is famous for its Roman Catholic shrine where Our Lady of Lourdes (Feast: Feb. 11) is believed to have repeatedly appeared (1858) to St. Bernadette.
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 and Sainte Anne de BeaupréSainte Anne de Beaupré
, village (1991 pop. 3,146), S Que., Canada, on the St. Lawrence River and NE of Quebec. It is the site of a famous shrine established in 1620 by sailors who had been shipwrecked. A chapel was built in 1658 and a large church in 1876.
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) and relicsrelics,
part of the body of a saint or a thing closely connected with the saint in life. In traditional Christian belief they have had great importance, and miracles have often been associated with them. Members of the Orthodox Eastern Church have generally followed St.
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. Since 1800 there have appeared a number of Protestant faith-healing groups, e.g., that of John Alexander DowieDowie, John Alexander
, 1847–1907, founder of the Christian Catholic Church, b. Scotland. He emigrated (1860) to Australia, where he was ordained as a Congregational minister.
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, the Emmanuel movement, and the Peculiar PeoplePeculiar People,
an alternate rendering for the biblical phrase "chosen people" (of Israel), applied to numerous Protestant dissenting sects such as the Plumstead peculiars. This group, founded in London in 1838 by John Banyard, refused medical treatment as an article of faith.
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. The followers of Christian ScienceChristian Science,
religion founded upon principles of divine healing and laws expressed in the acts and sayings of Jesus, as discovered and set forth by Mary Baker Eddy and practiced by the Church of Christ, Scientist.
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, approaching the problem differently, do not consider their system one of faith healing. They consider humans as Godlike and therefore not subject to material ills. Faith healing is of interest in the fields of psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy.

Bibliography

See M. T. Kelsey, Healing and Christianity (1973); S. Leek, The Story of Faith Healing (1973); D. E. Harrell, Jr., All Things are Possible (1976); J. Randi, The Faith Healers (1988).

Enlarge picture
Faith healing being performed by Nicola Cutolo, healer, psychologist and President of the Italian Society for Psychical Research. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.

Faith Healing

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Faith healing is a general term usually applied to nonmedical cures. It implies that the subject has an expectation of being healed; he or she has faith and is imbued with the idea that the acceptance of certain beliefs or doctrines (sometimes religious) will precipitate a cure. The method of healing may be hands-on, spiritual, reflexology, Reiki, dietary, herbal, by prayers, meditation, hypnotherapy, or any of a number of methods.

In many societies, a shaman performs healing. In the third century BCE, King Pyrrhus of Epirus cured colic by the laying on of hands (though, to be accurate, he touched with his feet and toes, rather than with his hands). English kings, starting with Edward the Confessor in the eleventh century CE, cured the tubercular affliction of the glands of the neck, known as scrofula, by the laying on of hands. This cure for what became known as “the King’s Evil,” continued through the line of English monarchs until Queen Anne. In France, King Robert the Pius did similar curing of the sick in the eleventh century and it continued in that country for many years. The recipients of these healings all believed beyond any doubt that the monarch’s touch would cure them. It was, therefore, pure faith healing.

Sources:

Barbanell, Maurice: This Is Spiritualism. Oxshott: The Spiritual Truth Press, 1959
Bletzer, June G.: The Encyclopedia Psychic Dictionary. Lithia Springs: New Leaf, 1998
Kingston, Jeremy: The Supernatural: Healing Without Medicine. London: Aldus Books, 1975
Fate Magazine see Fuller, Curtis
References in periodicals archive ?
WCDN is an international and interdenominational missionary organization committed to propagating Christian medical ethics and documenting cases of divine healing taking place around the world and analyzes them in annual international Christian medical conferences.
63) Chapman-Smith similarly suggests that, in a variety of real-life situations, individuals who might go to medical doctors and pray for divine healing also feel "pulled" toward the metaphysically premised prescriptions offered by their chiropractors.
ably chronicles the evangelical divine healing movement in late 19th-century America.
Rooting twentieth-century pentecostal divine healing in a longer tradition of "ecstatic Christianity" that included Methodists and Quakers, Harrell argued that healing was key to the popularity of post-war pentecostal revivals, and to the later charismatic revival within "mainstream" Protestant churches.
The point here is not to hold progressivism up as a standard against which the worth of divine healing ought to be measured.
He said yesterday: "As well as mass, I will also be doing divine healing on board the boat.
But as "the weary years dragged on," Barker recalled, "I began to think of the subject of Divine Healing.
Not infrequently, people claim to have experienced divine healing en route to a healing service or before the arrival of the healing evangelist.
Nancy Hardesty has provided a useful survey of the revival of interest in religious healing in Faith Cure: Divine Healing in the Holiness and Pentecostal Movements.
Simpson, and Martin Wells Knapp, divine healing became a common feature of the radical wing of the holiness movement by century's end.
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