Religion and Medicine

Religion and Medicine: A History of the Encounter Between Humanity’s Two Greatest Institutions

  • The most comprehensive text to date detailing the history of religion and medicine
  • Covers a broad range of material across religious and cultural boundaries
  • Outlines the myriad alliances between religious and medical institutions

Though the current political climate might lead one to suspect that religion and medicine make for uncomfortable bedfellows, the two institutions have a long history of alliance. From religious healers and religious hospitals to religiously informed bioethics and research studies on the impact of religious and spiritual beliefs on physical and mental well-being, religion and medicine have encountered one another from antiquity through the present day. In Religion and Medicine, Dr. Jeff Levin outlines this longstanding history and the multifaceted interconnections between these two institutions. The first book to cover the full breadth of this subject, it documents religion-medicine alliances across religious traditions, throughout the world, and over the course of history. Levin summarizes a wide range of material in the most comprehensive introduction to this emerging field of scholarship to date.

Table of Contents

Foreword – by Stephen G. Post


Chapter 1. Conflict and Cooperation

Chapter 2. Healers and Healthcare

Chapter 3. Missions and Ministries

Chapter 4. Congregations and Communities

Chapter 5. Scientists and Scholars

Chapter 6. Teaching and Training

Chapter 7. Prescriptions and Proscriptions

Chapter 8. Policies and Programs

Chapter 9. Challenges and Choices



Praise for Religion and Medicine:

“Jeff Levin is without peers when it comes to the literature in this area. His scholarship is impeccable.”
Neal Krause, Ph.D., Marshall H. Becker Collegiate Professor Emeritus, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan

“A magnificent book, easy to read and encyclopedic in covering the history and current state of affairs in the religion and health world. Highly recommended for anyone in (and outside) of this field. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”
Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center

“Dr. Jeff Levin’s Religion and Medicine is perhaps the most profound and balanced overview of the connections between religious faith and human health that has appeared in my lifetime. This is a work of impressive, expansive scholarship. No one is more capable of this discussion than Levin, the pioneer who introduced the term “the epidemiology of religion” decades ago, and who has dedicated his career to research and analysis of this field. Religion and medicine discussions often evoke passionate responses from both sides–those who favor the integration of both areas, and those find this connection inherently offensive. This book transcends both sides by engaging actual evidence. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Levin’s approach, because our future may depend on our conclusions about how religion affects health I the broadest sense: the survival of our species.”
Larry Dossey, M.D., Author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters

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