Thursday, February 7, 2008

Religion and Healing in America

I've been working through this fascinating volume for the last couple of days. It is an interesting collection of scholarly articles on varieties of healing views, practices and theologies within the US. The views/practices represented come from traditions as varied as Pentecostalism, Catholocism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Wicca, Judaism and Native American Religion(s). The practices are as varied as the backgrounds. What has emerged is that in almost all of these traditions, the role of the community is vitally important and the healing itself is often communal in nature. I'm not surprised. In spite of our "rugged individualism" in America, we realize, especially at our most vulnerable postion (as illness often is), how much we need others for our survival and well-being.