Dr. Susan Sered
The Religion, Health, and Healing Initiative (RHHI), under the direction of Dr. Susan Sered, was established in September 2000 in order to further cross-cultural studies of the intersections of healing and religion. The impetus for the initiative was the desire to turn rigorous intellectual attention to the many ways in which religious practices, beliefs, and institutions construct, and are constructed by, experiences of illness, health, and healing cross-culturally.
While the RHHI has run its course, other programs dedicated to the study of religion and healing continue exploring this rich aspect of contemporary culture. The Boston Healing Landscape Project, under the direction of Linda Barnes, is an important source of information on religion and healing in Boston, especially in African Diaspora communities.
During its four-year course, the Religion, Health and Healing Initiative generated several bodies of work.
Religious Healing in Boston: A series of essays exploring ways in which diverse Boston communities draw on religious and spiritual practices and ideas in response to illness and suffering. Highlighting a variety of Boston areas communities, the essays offer windows into the many ways in which members of our society draw upon religious and spiritual resources at times of illness and suffering. The papers originally appeared in three publications edited by Susan Sered and produced by the Center for the Study of World Religions.
- Religious Healing in Boston: First Findings (2001)
- Religious Healing in Boston: Reports from the Field (2002)
- Religious Healing in Boston: Body, Spirit, Community (2004)
Introductions and Overviews by Susan SeredThese three essays originated as Introductions for each of the published volumes. Taken together, Sered’s essays offer theoretical lenses for thinking about ways in which religion and healing converge in our society, and help frame the papers that highlight particular faith traditions.
- Introduction: "Religious Healing in Boston" (2001) [.pdf]
- Introduction: "The Meaning and Politics of Healing" (2002) [.pdf]
- Introduction: "What Religion Teaches about Healing, and What Healing Teaches about Religion" (2004) [.pdf]
- Religion, Health, and Healing Initiative Resource Guide [.pdf] provides samples of the diversity of religious healing found in Boston today. Two appendices list material on religious healing located in the Pluralism Project office, which is available to scholars, chaplains, and other interested individuals, and give an overview of the RHHI Breast Cancer Research Project.
- Women Healing Women [.pdf]
- Religion and Healing in America is a groundbreaking anthology exploring a wide range of religious healing contexts in the United States. Edited by Linda Barnes and Susan Sered, the anthology is published by Oxford University Press. See Table of Contents [.pdf].
- Uninsured: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity is a study of the experiences of Americans who do not have health insurance. Written by Susan Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle, the book will be published in early 2005 by University of California Press. See Table of Contents [.pdf].
Selected Links and Publications
- Faculty webpage: Dr. Susan Sered
- Website: Suffolk University Center for Women's Health and Human Rights
Religious Healing in Boston Essays
- "Faith Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena: Religious Healing in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston" - Heather D. Curtis (2001) [.pdf]
- "Healing Encounters in Two Communities: African American Protestantism and Christian Science" - Kathryn Koliss (2001) [.pdf]
- "'For Waters Shall Break Forth in the Wilderness': Healing Generation X at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Cambridge" - Scott Sang-Hyun Lee (2001) [.pdf]
- "God Always Heals but Does Not Always Cure" - Jennifer L. Hollis (2001) [.pdf]
- "A Silent History: 'Quakers' and Healing" - Hillary Mercer (2002) [.pdf]
- "The Body as Temple: Health and Healing in a Boston Adventist Church" - Josh Burek (2004) [.pdf]
Healing in Muslim Communities
- Kassamali "Honey, Hadiths, and Health Day: A Spectrum of Healing in the Daily Life of Boston Muslims" - Amy E. Rowe (2001) [.pdf]
- "Healing Rituals and the Role of Fatima" - Noor Kassamali (2004) [.pdf]
- "The Range of Religious Healing Options in the Boston Vietnamese Community" - Nam Nguyen (2001) [.pdf]
- "Perspectives on Healing in the Ukrainian Community" - Michelle Goldhaber (2002) [.pdf]
- "Caring in the Diaspora: Filipino Immigrants, Health Care, Healing and Religion" - Maribel Valencia-Castillo (2002) [.pdf]
- "Healing in Immigrant Communities of the African Diaspora of Boston" - Linda Barnes (2002) [.pdf]
- "Religious Practices of Haitian People with HIV/AIDS: Why Health Professions Should Care" - Dawn Dorland (2004) [.pdf]
Buddhist Healing and Chinese Healing
- "Chinese Healing in Boston" - Linda Barnes (2001) [.pdf] "Buddhism, Health and Healing in a Chinese Community" - Hongyu Wu (2002) [.pdf] "Health, Karma, and Practice: Wellbeing and Purification in Tibetan Buddhism" - Christina Deck (2002) [.pdf]
- "Unsung Heroines: Parish Nurses in the Roman Catholic Church" - Sheila McMahon (2001) [.pdf]
- "Calling in the Specialists: Catholic Saints and Healing in the North End" - Rosemary S. Lloyd (2001) [.pdf]
- "Hanging Healing on Your Neck: The Catholic Custom of Scapulars" -Sarah Ramer (2001) [.pdf]
- "Contemplative Continuity: Conceptions of Health in a Trappist Abbey" - Jeffrey DeVido (2002) [.pdf]
Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Healing in the New Age
- "With Energy and Spirit: Healers and Their Perspectives on Healing for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse" - Narelle Bouthillier (2002) [.pdf]
- "'Does It Work?': Holistic Healers and Assessing Breast Cancer Treatment" - Barbara Potrata (2004) [.pdf]
- "Diversity in the Law of Similars: Mainstream and Alternative Homeopaths in Massachusetts" - Cornelia Cannon Holden (2004) [.pdf]
- "'Like a Flower in a Snowfield': Self-Healing in the Dahn Hak Community" - Sharon Kivenko (2004) [.pdf]
Healing in African American Communities
- "Healing in the African Diaspora Communities of Boston" - Linda Barnes et. al (2001) [.pdf]
- "Domestic Violence in the African-American Community: The Role of the Church" - Lynda Jordan (2002) [.pdf]
Healing in the Jewish Community
- "Jewish Healing in Boston" - Susan Sered (2001) [.pdf]
Healing in the Bahá’í Faith
- "'Tests of God': Suffering and Healing in the Baha’i Faith" - Shreena Gandhi (2002) [.pdf]
Politics of Healing
- "Spirituality and the INS: Conceptualizing the Counseling of Detainees" - Avi Spiegel (2002) [.pdf]
- "The Politics of Visibility: Healing from Homophobia in Faith Communities" - Christine Gindi (2002) [.pdf]
- "Lotus Flowers and Rose Windows: A Season of Visits to Hospital Chapels" - Jen Hollis (2002) [.pdf]
- "Healing Communities: Boston’s Congregations and the Challenges of Healthful Living" - Lowell W. Livezey (2004) [.pdf]
- Protestant Traditions