“In the mid-twentieth century, the gap between science and religion grew even wider. Science had become god-like, and the public generally shared physicians’ confidence in its promise. But now, in this so-called postmodern world, society has grown skeptical of science and statistics, while medicine remains relentlessly positivistic, confident in its numbers and commitment to the material world, even when it attempts to address the spiritual.”
Jacalyn Duffin faced the challenge to healing as an academic medical historian. What she reports is a personal pilgrimage of searching and experience. It is a wonderful and critical examination of individual and community healing stories that followed her medical review of a healing miracle.
Healing stories require a “big” space for these complicated experiences. We know that the spaces that have traditionally been found in our communities of faith are questioned. Even the recent canonization of Mother Teresa has been challenged despite the powerful witness of her work.
What is clear is that there needs to be a complementarity to the ways of science and faith. People like Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Doctor Abraham Verghese are powerful voices of their respective vocations. Added to that list is Professor Duffin who shows how specific communities carry their ancient stories of healing with them to new places in the world. She has added to the dialogue between faith and science.
Thanks for sharing this complicated history of healing.
Duffin, Jacalyn (2013-05-01). Medical Saints: Cosmas and Damian in a Postmodern World (p. 169). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Hage, M. L. (2013). The Nature of Healing.
Hage, M. L. (2014). Hope Agents
Sacks, J. (2014). The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning (Reprint ed.). Schocken.
Verghese, A. (2010). Cutting for Stone (1st ed.). Vintage Books.