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Prescribing Faith: Medicine, Media, and Religion in American Culture

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The healing powers of medicine and prayer are often media headlines. Not explored is how media itself has shaped popular ideas about religion and health. Prescribing Faith traces the confluence of medicine, media and religion from mid-nineteenth century American culture to the present day. Badaracco examines how media portrays the relationship between religious faith and medicine, showing that the relationship is one fraught with conflict of interest, controversy, and paradox. Prescribing Faith offers valuable ...
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Overview


The healing powers of medicine and prayer are often media headlines. Not explored is how media itself has shaped popular ideas about religion and health. Prescribing Faith traces the confluence of medicine, media and religion from mid-nineteenth century American culture to the present day. Badaracco examines how media portrays the relationship between religious faith and medicine, showing that the relationship is one fraught with conflict of interest, controversy, and paradox. Prescribing Faith offers valuable insight into deconstructing religion and medicine as shaped by today's media.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is a landmark account of the construction and commodification of medicine and health.

--Stewart M. Hoover, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado

Publishers Weekly

The medical quackery of yore is commonly thought to be over. Sure, doctors may have prescribed mercury, arsenic and bloodletting in the 19th century, and they may not have washed their hands between examinations of cadavers and deliveries of babies, but aren't we more advanced now? Badaracco, professor of communications at Marquette, thinks not. The current symbiosis between medicine and media is the rival of any sort of Victorian-era medical malpractice. Big Pharm is the most profitable sector of the stock market, and pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on marketing as they do on research and development. Badaracco shows that media, religion and medicine have been intertwined throughout American history, often producing spectacular innovations in marketing, a mess of broken bodies in medicine and frequent religious reactions against mainstream medicine, like Christian Science and the rise of popularity for Eastern religions. She writes with panache and passion enough to ask unsettling questions: if prayer works, should it be required in hospitals by insurers? And if it works, might it also carry risk? And why is the media so keen to serve as the mouthpiece for every scare tactic and miracle drug that comes down the pike? (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932792898
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author


Claire Hoertz Badaracco (Ph. D. Rutgers) is Full Professor in the College of Communication, Marquette University. She is the editor of Quoting God: How Media Shape Ideas about Religion and Culture (Baylor University Press, 2005), Trading Words: Poetry, Typography, and Illustrated Books in the Modern Literary Economy (1995) and American Culture and the Marketplace (1992).
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