Divine healing is the essential marker of the global phenomenon of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity. But although we know that healing is central in these movements, we know surprisingly little about how divine healing beliefs and practices reflect the interplay of local and global patterns of cultural development. The essays in this collection seek to discover what is the same and what is different about such beliefs and practices in diverse contexts, trace formal and informal lines of cultural influence across geographic and national boundaries, and ask how healing both reflects and contributes to larger processes of globalization. The collection will not only flesh out a picture of how and why spiritual healing is practiced in diverse cultural contexts and how healing practices reflect and shape the transnational spread of Christianity; it will also provide insight into the nature of globalization.
The authors will attend to a wide range of issues, including the theological rationales for divine healing; the symbolic objects and ritual enactments employed; the cultural controversies surrounding these practices; the relationship between Christian healing and local or indigenous healing traditions; whether an emphasis on financial prosperity is always present; and the extent to which Pentecostal and charismatic churches are networked and the role of healing in such networks. All the essays are new to this volume.