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October 2021

Med Ges Gesch. 1998 ; 17(): 131-48.

[Homeopathy and the clergy: the portrait of a relationship]

Stolberg M.

This study traces the attraction that 19th century homeopathy exerted on clergymen of all three major Christian denominations, an appeal which is evidenced by the extensive homeopathic activities of clerical healers and missionaries. Practical considerations, such as the relatively easy acquisition of basic therapeutic skills, combined with and reinforced philosophical and religious preferences for a healing systm that stressed the unique properties of the body and the spiritual force of healing and remedies. The use of homeopathy enabled the clergy, as professional experts in the realm of the supernatural and immaterial, to refute the prevailing "mechanistic" and "materialistic" trends in contemporary academic medicine. Accordingly, some of the clergy arrived at striking syncretisms, supplementing homeopathy with sympathetic or religious healing methods.

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