“Medicine and Healing; New Christian Churches and Movements: Christianity” in De Gruyter’s Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception
Paulson, Shirley. “Medicine and Healing; New Christian Churches and Movements: Christianity” in vol. 18 of De Gruyter’s Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by Constance M. Furey, Steven L. McKenzie, Thomas Chr. Romer, Jens Schroeter, Barry Dov Walfish, and Eric Ziolkowski. 30 vols. Rome: De Gruyter. 2020.
Paulson delineates four alternative, Bible-based healing systems practiced by post-Enlightenment Christians in the U.S.: 1) the Seventh-day Adventists and Swedenborgians representing the hands-on, ‘mundane’ approach to healing affiliated with hospitals and medicine, and based in the biblical love of neighbor; 2) the revival of spiritual healing in Christian Science and New Thought, based on Jesus’s teachings and God’s tangible presence, although unlike Christian Science, New Thought sees medicine as part of God’s plan; 3) the Holiness movement responding to Spirit’s call to heal through prayer, evolving into the Christian and Missionary Alliance focusing more on missionary work as Christian witness; 4) the Emmanuel movement, now the International Order of St. Luke the Physician, also focusing on healing through prayer but with the help of psychology. These four approaches evolved in the 20th century into four groups: charismatic Holy Spirit healing, faith healing based in belief, Christian Science ‘spiritual healing’ mirroring Christ’s authority, and the eclectic New Age healing practices. Paulson cites different Christian traditions that lie on the spectrum between continuationists who believe healing is still possible, such as the Christian Scientists, and the cessationists who see healing as ended with the apostles, and work with medicine for a cure.