Robert Scott

The Miracle Cures

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Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, November 2010
A Publication of the Association for College & Research Libraries, a Division of the American Library Association

Scott illuminates the Christian practice of pilgrimages to healing shrines from medieval to contemporary times. He also explores the contemporary phenomenon of "virtual pilgrimage" on the Internet as a foil to the practice of physical pilgrimage.

Relics of St. Rectitude
The relics of St Restitude and her companions Veranus, Dominisius, Parthée, Prathénopée and Pargoire. From Calinizana, Corsica.

The author carefully weaves detailed textual and historiographic work with the latest social scientific findings on pain, and [on] environmental and behavioral factors that promote health and shape the experience of illness. With these tools, he believes, social and medical evidence can explain why medieval and contemporary Christians found and continue to find transformative healing in the midst of their journey.

Theologically inclined readers might find this analysis too reductionist since it avoids theological claims and refuses to engage the question of divine agency. However, Scott is open and honest about his approach, noting that he simply works as a social scientist.

This book is an extremely valuable addition to the growing body of literature on faith and medicine. It represents a sophisticated integration of historical analysis of religious practice with the latest findings in medicine and the social sciences. Readers at all levels should enjoy this engaging but sophisticated book.

Summing Up: Highly recommended [for] lower-level undergraduates and above [and] general readers. -- A. W. Klink