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Religions, Medicine, and Healing

At first glance, it may seem that religion and medicine have little natural overlap, but a closer look suggests it is the rule, not the exception, that religious practices and beliefs are centrally concerned with the health in this world of bodies, minds, and souls. Indeed religious traditions offer richly diverse ways of imagining the body in relationships to the mind and to the soul, or to imagining “illness” and health, purity and pollution. In Minnesota no less than other places in the United States of the world, religions matter to the health of communities and individuals, and so does an understanding among health professionals of cultural and religious practices and beliefs about bodies, minds, wellness, and illness.