Sign or Symptom?

Exceptional Corporeal Phenomena in Religion and Medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries

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Editor(s): 
Tine van Osselaer, Henk de Smaele, Kaat Wils
KADOC Studies on Religion, Culture and Society
  • Leuven, Belgium: 
    Leuven University Press
    , November
     2017.
     256 pages.
     $53.99.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9789462701076.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Michael Grosso forthcoming.

Description

Religion and science on paranormal events.

Described as ‘the hand of God’, as ‘pathological’ or even as ‘a clever trick’, exceptional corporeal phenomena such as miraculous cures, stigmata, and incorrupt corpses have triggered heated debates in the past. Depending on their definition as either ‘supernatural’, ‘psycho-somatic’ or ‘fraudulent’, different authorities have sought to explain these enigmatic occurrences by stimulating inquiries and claiming jurisdiction over them. As a consequence, separate ecclesiastic and medical forms of expertise emerged on these issues in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This incommensurability has since echoed in historical analyses of paranormal events. In this book the emphasis is not placed solely on the debates within one or the other epistemological system (science or religion), but also on the crossovers and collaborations between them. Religion and science developed through a process of interaction. A changing religious climate and new religious currents provided new cases for study. Religious phenomena inspired new medical approaches such as the healing power of faith. New medical findings could be adopted to oppose new messiahs and medical imagery came to inspire the campaigns of opponents of aberrant of religious currents. Sign or Symptom? explores how the evolutions within religion and science influenced each other, a productive interaction that has been hidden from view until now.

Contributors: Ellen Amster (McMaster University), Nicole Edelman (Université de Paris-Ouest-Nanterre), Maria Heidegger (Universität Innsbruck), Mary Heimann (Cardiff University), Paula Kane (University of Pittsburgh), Sofie Lachapelle (University of Guelph), Tiago Pires Marques (Universidade de Coimbra), Tine Van Osselaer (Universiteit Antwerpen)

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Tine van Osselaer is Research Professor at Universiteit Antwerpen (Ruusbroec Institute).

Henk de Smaele is Associate Professor of History and Member of the Research Unit Power in History: Centre for Political History at Universiteit Antwerpen.

Kaat Wils is Professor in European Cultural History and Head of the Research Group Cultural History since 1750 at KU Leuven.

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