God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection

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In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Jeff Levin explores the latest compelling evidence of the connection between health and an array of spiritual beliefs and practices, including prayer, attending religious services, meditation, and faith in God. Drawing on his own and other published studies, Dr. Levin shows how religion's emphasis on healthy behaviors and supportive relationships influences one's overall health and how the optimism and hopefulness of those who profess faith promote the body's healing responses. Filled with dramatic personal stories, God, Faith, and Health will alter the way you think about your body and your faith and will show you the path to improving your own health through spiritual practice.

""Jeff Levin writes with incredible clarity, style, and passion. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the religion-health connection, especially those wondering if such a connection exists at all.""
-Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, and author of The Healing Power of Faith

""Beautifully written and packed with compelling scientific evidence for the spirituality-health connection . . . . With the precision of a scientist, the courage of a true pioneer, and the artistry of a storyteller, Levin reminds us of what we can no longer afford to ignore: that our spiritual life matters mightily to our health and well-being at every level.""
-Janet F. Quinn, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor, University of Colorado School of Nursing


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

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