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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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