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Faith Healing

Faith Healing, a religious movement for the curing of disease by prayer and laying on of hands, which arose independently at Mainendorf, in Switzerland, and Motlingen, in the Black Forest, between 1850 and 1860. In the former case, Dorothea Trudel, an artificial flower-maker, in the latter Pastor Blumhardt was the originator. The movement spread into Sweden and America, and from the latter country into England, where houses for the treatment of sickness by this method have been established, called "Bethshan" ("house of safety"). A similar belief is held by a small English sect, the Peculiar People. It is based on a passage in the Epistle of St. James (v. 14). The cures, analogous to those effected by hypnotism (q.v.), and perhaps at some Roman Catholic places of pilgrimage - e.g. Lourdes - are in part susceptible of a rationalistic explanation. Confidence is well known to be a powerful auxiliary to cure, and it is probable that some at least of the illnesses cured may be put down to hysteria.

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