Healing Powers: Alternative Medicine, Spiritual Communities, and the State / Edition 1

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The personal testimony of individuals engaged in healing practices and the opposing voices of orthodox and alternative medicines are the center of Healing Powers. Focusing on medical norms and practices and on competing philosophies of the mind, the body, reality, and rationality across radically different "belief systems", Fred Frohock clarifies the social and legal dilemmas represented by "scientific medicine" and "alternative care."

"Frohock goes beyond the often irreconcilable differences between scientific biomedicine and alternative care by clarifying the social and legal dilemmas they present. . . . A noteworthy contribution forcing us to rethink what medical care is all about."—Jeffrey Michael Clare, Journal of the American Medical Association

"The book does more and better than simply provide a social-scientific proposal. It also gives not only a hearing but a voice to those who follow alternative therapies. . . . Frohock's accounts of their stories—along with the stories of the medical professionals—are eloquent and fascinating."—Allen Verhey, Medical Humanities Review

"Contains a storehouse of valuable information about the historical, philosophical, and psychological bases of alternative approaches to healing."—Marshall B. Kapp, New England Journal of Medicine

"Frohock introduces us to the scientific naturopaths and to physicians who believe in the mind's power to heal, to charismatics who believe in but cannot explain their powers, to those who test God and those who merely accept. He writes so well that I felt I had met these people."—Arthur W. Frank, Christian Century

Discusses whether unorthodox beliefs on health & healing should be shielded from state regul. when life is at stake.

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Editorial Reviews

William Beatty
Frohock early on describes his purpose: "At the simplest level, ["Healing Powers"] is a study of liberal dilemmas that occur when incompatible ontologies enter public space." In preparation, he interviewed several persons in each of the fields involved, so his solid text is based upon not only the pertinent literature (the notes and references are of considerable value) but also the thought of current leaders. He takes up science vs. faith, mind vs. body, and liberal power in turn and discusses them in the light of traditional and alternative medicine, spiritual healing, and holistic medicine, and he is able to present these fields from personal as well as theoretical and general viewpoints through illustrative cases that keep theory and real life together. He has designed and written the book on several levels, so at times the reader must pay close attention to just where the text is coming from. The serious reader will gain much from the effort, though, especially regarding the place of the individual in modern society during times of medical and spiritual stress.
Interweaves facets of the controversy surrounding alternative avenues to healing: the history of medicine and religions tradition, the nature of spirituality and personality, the role of the state in personal affairs, and testimony of people in the trenches of this fierce battle--into which Frohock adds the voice of a central, fictional, character. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226265841
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Series: Morality and Society Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Rational Disputes
2. Science and Faith
3. Medical Traditions
4. Mind and Body
5. Spiritual Healing
6. Spiritual Domains
7. Holistic Medicine
8. Political Discourses
9. Liberal Power
10. Narrative Reasoning

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