Science acknowledges logic, pragmatism, theories, postulates, conjectures, and evidence. Religion caters to faith, holiness, and metaphysical explanations in regards of the wonders of the world. The relationship between science, religion, and healing varies among culture. Western culture is more of a reductionist society. According to Cynthia Gabriel, we base medicine, healing, and treatment off of the notion of Cartesian Duality. Considering the fact that Cartesian Duality separates the mind from the body. Because Western culture refuses to take “the mind” into consideration when it comes to healing, people seek alternative solutions such as religious/spiritual healing, or something that doesn’t require dissections or prescription medicine. I feel as if the relationship between science and religion is healing itself. Healing can include: pain relief, mental relief, spiritual healing, and giving people hope.
Western societies idea of healing entails pumping their patients up with drugs, IV’s, and sticking people into machines. Take into consideration spiritual ceremonies in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. The San (Bushmen) has ceremonies in which a healer dances for hours in order to connect with his ancestors and receive “power animal” in order to heal people who are amongst him seeking treatment (Ton Van der Lee, 2012). The healer in the documentary told a story about how his twisted neck was treated after a healer sung a spiritual song to him. Health solutions in societies such as Botswana entail spiritual healing. If he were in a society such as America, he would be told that he had a “crook” in his neck and to take an Advil to relieve the pain.
The potential of religion caters to healing, prevention, and empowerment (Kenneth Maton and Elizabeth Wells, 2010). Religion offers exclusive and prevailing means and a vantage point for influencing thoughts, sentiments, and behaviors. Moreover, what’s so ironic is that in Western societies, some people don’t seek spiritual healing until they’re out of options in regards of surgery and medicine. At that point, that is when people seek spiritual healing. This is because religion/spirituality restores hope and grants peace. I remember one day I was at church and a well-respected woman was testifying about a lump her doctor found in her breast. She explained that a few days after the initial examination she broke down into deep pray. She caught the Holy Ghost. She then stated that all of a sudden she had a “flushing” sensation throughout her body. Two days later after the episode she had a second examination; the doctor couldn’t detect the lump anymore. It was gone! If people learn to connect the pathos, logos, and ethos perspective of science, religion, and healing it would ultimately lead to more effective treatments for individuals.
Gabriel, Cynthia. “Cartersian Duality, Biomedicine, and Spirit.” Lecture, ANP 370: Culture, Health, and Illness, July 20, 2016.
Maton, Kenneth I., and Elizabeth A. Wells. “Religion as a Community Resource for Well-Being: Prevention, Healing, and Empowerment Pathways.” Journal of Social Issues 51, no. 2 (April 14, 2010): 177-93. Accessed July 21, 2016. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1995.tb01330.x.
SAN (Bushman) Healing Dance Botswana Africa. Directed by Ton Van Der Lee. Performed by Botswana Locals. Youtube. February 3, 2012. Accessed July 21, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyLF3y1YJKA.