Healing in the History of Christianity
Porterfield, Amanda. Healing in the History of Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Porterfield acknowledges that before she discovered the extent of healing in the history of Christianity, she erroneously envisioned healing as “shouldered out by theologians and church authorities intent on marching people toward salvation in heaven, but kept alive, on the edges of ritual practice and belief…” (3). Although Christian healing has often been used as evidence of the power of Christian faith and true Christian doctrine, Christians early distinguished themselves by caring for the sick and dying (5). But medical practices have also waxed and waned as part of Christian healing practices from antiquity (145). Porterfield devotes two pages to Mary Baker Eddy’s contributions as an heir to Wesley, although her “engagement with mesmerism led her to relinquish many aspects of evangelical theology.” In her break with the materialist elements of mesmerism, Eddy followed Phineas P. Quimby, but went beyond him with her biblical interpretation. The Bible for her was an account of the divine power of Mind and its ultimate triumph over the evils of materialism (179).
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0199729944
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0195157185