Alternative Perspectives on Healing

May 14, 2022

Religion, Healing, and Health (REL 252) is an interdisciplinary course that explores the religious and social dimensions of healing worldwide. The course includes explorations of the complex relationships among spiritual practices, health, and wellness. 

Having completed the prerequisites for REL 252, you will already have a working knowledge of the medical humanities. In this more focused course, you will discover the fundamental differences and intersections between religious healing and medical treatments. You will also come to better understand suffering and pain and how they affect our well-being. REL 252 also introduces the religious pilgrimage and the health tourism movement, which offer a new perspective on these subjects.

While exploring complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), you will learn about holistic methods of care that in some cultures are believed to heal the mind, body, and soul, which differ from the dominance of the physical aspect of health in modern medicine. Yoga, Ayurveda, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, mindfulness, and energy healing are studied and practiced in the religious and medical contexts, says Assistant Professor Dixuan Yujing Chen, who teaches the course.

If you are planning a career in medicine, either as a health care professional or in the medical humanities, REL 252 will be an invaluable addition to your higher education. Many students in the class find that it also helps them learn about their own healing journey. Exploring mindfulness and self-compassion is often beneficial for students as they navigate their way through the world.

Chen says that REL 252 emphasizes cultural and religious competence that strengthens the value of equality, diversity, and inclusion in health care. She adds that the course will help you develop constructive and critical thinking skills, which will allow you to analyze, question, and interpret healing narratives. 

If you’re looking for a course to give you a broader view of health and healing, REL 252 is an excellent choice that will guide you toward better comprehension of health care practices worldwide. 

Learn more about religious studies at Grinnell

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