“Medicine and Spiritual Healing Within a Region of Canada: Preliminary Findings Concerning Christian Scientists’ Healthcare Practices”
Manca, Terra. “Medicine and Spiritual Healing Within a Region of Canada: Preliminary Findings Concerning Christian Scientists’ Healthcare Practices.” Journal of Religion and Health 52, no. 3 (2013): 789–803.
Manca interviews 11 current Christian Scientists and one former member in one region of Canada to compare their practices of healthcare. Manca’s study analyzes how these Christian Scientists negotiated between their own belief systems and the social expectations and challenges from those inside and outside their communities, and also any cognitive dissonance caused by any disconfirming evidence such as failed healings. Manca concludes, from the interviews he conducted, that although many critics of Christian Science see it as a cult creating a “psychological environment that tolerates only obedience,” he has found that the healthcare choices made by Christian Scientists “are more diverse than previous studies suggested” (800). In other words, Manca found a wide range of choices made by Christian Scientists: from complete refusal of medical care, which, according to a few of his interviewees, could sometimes be harmful, to full compliance with the medical system.
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