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God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection Paperback – July 19, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (July 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471218936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471218937
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,177,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When Dr. Jeff Levin first pointed out the link between spiritual faith and healing in Essentials of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, his theories were met with skepticism. Since then, more and more physicians and patients have come to accept this mysterious link, mostly because of the convincing studies and data that have since been released. Levine's pioneering work has even led to a new field of inquiry, one he calls the "epidemiology of religion." What makes Levin so credible is his detached approach that simply interprets research and never blames people for their illnesses. "Further, the illness, suffering, or death of a particular person in no way should be--or can be--attributed to a lack of faith or not enough spirituality," writes Levin. "Epidemiology is incapable of addressing such issues. What it can tell us--and does very clearly--is that religious involvement deserves to be recognized as one of the significant factors that promotes health and well-being among groups of people."

Unfortunately, what makes Levine credible is also what can make him inaccessible to the average reader. The book is sensibly organized into three parts: the health benefits of religious involvement and spiritual involvement, and then an examination of how these proven benefits will affect the future of medicine. Yet he spends much of the book citing studies and case histories, then listing point-by-point conclusions, making the writing stiffen into medical-journal prose. Levine tries to address the general reader by ending chapters with "Lessons to Consider" and "Questions to Reflect On." But this effort seems tagged on. If you're seeking a book that assembles and synthesizes groundbreaking studies on faith and healing, you'll be greatly rewarded with God, Faith, and Health. If you're looking for a practical guidebook on applying faith to personal healing, this one may be too academic and theoretical. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Jeff Levin writes with incredible clarity, style, and passion. He is one of the first and finest scientists ever to brave this territory..." -- Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and author of The Healing Power of Faith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A retired scientist on November 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific book. I've read just about all the other popular books on the connections between spirituality and health (by Koenig, Matthews, Dossey, Siegel, Chopra, Benor, and all the rest) and this is by FAR the most level-headed and scientifically grounded. It seems that everyone writing on this topic is either a conservative religious M.D. or some kind of new age follower. Levin is neither. He's a credible, methodologically skilled scientist who actually did much of the original research he summarizes. I've heard him talk--he's excellent--and this book, like his lectures, focuses on the how & why of a spirituality-health connection. He comprehensively outlines all the possible ways that faith may be connected to health--through effects on behavior, social relationships, emotions, beliefs, etc. He even raises the possibility of some things that a lot of scientists might consider unproven (subtle energies, nonlocality, psi, the supernatural), but he is careful and guarded with his tone and, throughout the book, meticulous with his citations. He always considers both sides of the issue and never overstates things. Plus the book is marvelously readable. When was the last time you could say that about an epidemiologist? Very highly recommended to both science types and laypeople. This guy is ready for the big time.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book! It pulls together the unbelievably huge amount of scientific research that shows a strong connection between spiritual practices and beliefs and having better health. Levin also shares personal stories of people who have seen changes -- sometimes big changes -- in their lives and health that are linked to prayer and other spiritual practices. One of the most interesting things he finds is that, in terms of health benefits, it really doesn't seem to matter which religious path is followed. The important thing just seems to be that a person connects with God or a religious tradition or a spiritual path of some type. Levin describes health benefits documented in many groups, including Yogis and Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. In general, God seems to be good for us, no matter what we perceive God to be. Why would religion or faith in God be good for health? The book describes all kinds of reasons--from religious people not smoking and drinking to benefits from being in a supportive social group. But the most amazing thing is that these "expected" kinds of explanations for why faith is good for you don't seem to explain the whole picture. Even after these "normal" explanations are taken into account, Levin says that additional benefits of spirituality may come from something beyond what can be measured in scientific studies. That is, the health benefits of connecting to a higher power could have a more "supernatural" explanation. Whatever you believe about the subject, the book makes a powerful case for the importance of spirit in health.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jorge R. Sanchez on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Excelent resource for the consideration, discussion and further investigation on the subject of science-faith relationship. Spiritual dimension of the human being is a reality that integrates its wholeness and well-being, existentially and scientifically proven.
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By john sisler on March 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not an easy read. The subject is important to me but the average person, I can't see loving it. I could be wrong.
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