Chapter 12. Health

  1. Philip Goff Director Professor
  1. Christopher G. White Assistant Professor

Published Online: 16 APR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324082.ch12

The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America

The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America

How to Cite

White, C. G. (2010) Health, in The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America (ed P. Goff), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324082.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, USA

Author Information

  1. Vassar College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 APR 2010
  2. Published Print: 23 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405169363

Online ISBN: 9781444324082



  • health, American believers concerned about their bodies;
  • American Puritans, believing that spiritual conditions - guilt and shame manifesting as illnesses in the body;
  • health as a category - shaping American religious history;
  • interpreting ecstatic experiences - dramatic revival experiences not always producing spiritual changes;
  • literature interpreting somatic behaviors - by popular writers, pastors, and scientific experts;
  • interpreting the body and body reforms - religious practice, interest in embodied ritual practices in anthropology and religious studies;
  • James Opp, Nancy Hardesty and Heather Curtis - attention to evangelical healing in the same period;
  • feminized and muscular Christians - health, healing, and spirituality concepts, metaphors of gender and changing gender expectations;
  • religion and health in later twentieth century;
  • thinking about health, religion, and healing - state of diversity and experimentation, in multireligious America calling for new approaches


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Interpreting Ecstatic Experiences

  • Interpreting the Body and Body Reforms

  • Feminized and Muscular Christians

  • Religion and Health in the Later Twentieth Century

  • Conclusion

  • Bibliography