Religion & Healing

Nearly all of my research and writing explore the nexus of health and society. Throughout the world, religious beliefs and practices are intertwined with health beliefs, health care policies, and healing events. This page includes publications on Twelve Step programs in the United States, the Jewish healing movement in the US, traditional women’s healing roles, and how religion shapes health in a variety of cultures.

2005 (co-editor, with Linda Barnes) Religion and Healing in America (Oxford University Press).

2015 The Dark Side of Alternative Medicine and Holistic HealingAlternet

2012 (with Maureen Norton-Hawk) “Criminalized Women and Twelve Step Programs: Addressing Violations of the Law with a Spiritual Cure,” Implicit Religion 15(1): 37-60.

2008 (with Amy Agigian) “Holistic Sickening: Breast Cancer and the Discursive Worlds of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners,” Sociology of Health and Illness 30(4): 616-631.

2008 “Taxonomies of Ritual Mixing: Ritual Healing in the Contemporary United States,” History of Religions 47(2-3): 221-238.

2007 (with Linda Barnes) “Teaching Healing Rituals/Ritual Healing,” ed. Catherine Bell, Teaching Ritual. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 195-208.

2005 “Healing as Resistance: Reflections upon New Forms of American Jewish Healing,” ed. Linda Barnes and Susan Sered, Religion and Healing in America. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 231-252.

2005 “Bodies and Souls: Jewish Healing in America,” Pastoral Sciences 24(2): 81-95.

2005 “Exile, Illness, and Gender in Israeli Pilgrimage Narratives,” pp. 69-90, Pilgrimage and Healing, eds. Jill Dubisch and Michael Winkelman, University of Arizona Press.

2004 Religious Healing in Boston: Body, Spirit, Community (editor), publication of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University.

2003 “Health Care: The Critical Importance of Relationships,” Sh’ma 33/599.

2002 Religious Healing in Boston: Reports from the Field (editor), publication of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University.

2001 Religious Healing in Boston: First Findings (co-editor, with Linda Barnes), publication of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University.

2002 “Healing and Religion: A Jewish Perspective,” Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, special issue “Spirituality, Religious Wisdom, and Care of the Patient.”

2002 “Naturally Healthy: Divine Priestesses of Okinawa,” Journal of Women and Religion, Vol. 18.

1997 “Symbolic Illnesses, Real Handprints, and Other Bodily Marks: Autobiographies of Okinawan Priestesses and Shamans,” Ethos 25(4): 408-427.

1991 “Childbirth as a Religious Experience?: Fieldwork Among Women in an Israeli Hospital,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 7(2): 7-18.

1986 “Rachel’s Tomb and the Milk Grotto of the Virgin Mary: Two Women’s Shrines in Bethlehem,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 2(2): 7-22.