Religion and Health
Hiltner, Seward. Religion and Health. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1943.
Hiltner, a leading pastoral theologian of the mid-20th century, analyzed the shifting relationship between religion and science within the realm of health care and healing. He noted that ‘mental hygiene’ (‘mental health’ today) was the first movement that generated a mutual interest in both (medical) science and religion. Hiltner raised new (1943) questions concerning the Christian church and its relation to healing with or without medicine. “We know that healings, such as are described in the gospels, are not impossible or inexplicable,” he explains. But Jesus’s healing system required more than technique; he sought faith, or a living conviction, in order to heal. Christian Science was not the first, but certainly the most successful movement with Christian backgrounds to make large claims for the place of religion in healing (96). But Hiltner could not conceive the future of religion without contemporary medical cooperation, even in Christian Science. He noted that some Christian Scientists used resources of modern medicine and wondered how the Christian Science leaders would address this situation. On the other hand, the Church needed to be alert to the distinction between quacks and legitimate healing works. He concluded that “With such groups as Christian Science, rapprochement may be possible in less time than most people think” (99).
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-1258363536
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-1258353308