A comprehensive, if not groundbreaking, exploration of religious healing.



A book surveys 1,800 years of Christian doctrine and practice related to miracle healings.

King (co-author: God Speaks, 2017) has childhood memories of attending tent revivals. When he entered the ministry, he prayed for healing in Kansas City, Missouri, at the World Revival Church, where he is a pastor. His exhaustive volume on healing is the result of 16 years of study, as the copious footnotes attest. King is wise to acknowledge the difficulty of evaluating miracles objectively: “It is a tremendous challenge to assess religious healing scientifically.” But he holds that “humanity consists of more than mere fluids, tissue, and bone.” He begins in 100 C.E. with Roman sources and rabbinical stories before proceeding to early Christian apologists, such as Justin Martyr and Origen. While there was a tradition of Greek healing cults, some figures, like Clement of Alexandria, countered that “suffering could be beneficial.” Healing is mentioned in the Apocrypha, King notes, but it seems significant that it is not a part of the creeds. St. Augustine downplayed miracles, as did Martin Luther and John Calvin, who de-emphasized the supernatural, implying that a faith based on miracles was second-rate. All the same, these leading lights did not oppose healing, and the tradition continued. Practitioners of “Radical Holiness,” which emerged from Methodism in the 1880s and fueled Pentecostalism, were known for “brusque tactics”: Maria Woodworth-Etter sent sufferers into trances or swoons while Smith Wigglesworth, a working-class Yorkshire plumber, had the alarming habit of striking ill people in the afflicted areas. King makes a convincing case for healing being especially important in the 19th century due to the ineffectiveness of medicine at the time. This ambitious first volume of a series closes with what appeared to be a “waning of the Spirit” around the 1920s. The book’s thorough chronological tour and well-researched, relevant examples are in a suitably academic tone. But amid the long quotations from primary sources and other scholars, there aren’t many memorable lines from the author himself. Overall, this work is short on fresh analysis that could distinguish it from Morton Kelsey’s and Amanda Porterfield’s classic studies.

A comprehensive, if not groundbreaking, exploration of religious healing.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9992826-0-1

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Christos Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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