Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Health Soc Behav. 2011 Mar;52(1):107-22. doi: 10.1177/0022146510395025.

The third therapeutic system: faith healing strategies in the context of a generalized AIDS epidemic.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA. nmanglos@prc.utexas.edu

Abstract

Faith healing in sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been studied qualitatively among Pentecostal-Charismatic groups, and considered as its own phenomenon with little attention to its relationship to other modes of healing. Using data from Malawi, a religiously diverse African country with high HIV prevalence, we find that faith healing is pervasive across multiple religious traditions. For individuals, attending a faith healing congregation is associated with lower levels of generalized worry about AIDS, and this association is driven by those who switched churches before AIDS became widespread in rural areas. Use of condoms and traditional medicine are, on the other hand, positively associated with worry about AIDS. We argue that faith healing can be understood as a third therapeutic system that coexists with the well-documented biomedical and traditional systems. The success of faith healing approaches lies in their unique ability to combine individual-pragmatic and communal-ritualized aspects of healing to inform interpretations of the AIDS epidemic and its consequences.

PMID:
21362615
PMCID:
PMC4015184
DOI:
10.1177/0022146510395025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center