From Christian Science to Jewish Science: Spiritual Healing and American Jews

Hardcover | November 19, 2004

byEllen M. Umansky

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During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, thousands of American Jews were drawn to the teachings of Christian Science. Viewing such attraction with alarm, American Reform Rabbis sought to counter Christian Science's appeal by formulating a Jewish vision of happiness and health.Unlike Christian Science, it acknowledged the benefits of modern medicine yet, sharing the belief in God as the true source of healing, similarly emphasized the power of visualization and affirmative prayer. Though the numbers of those formally affiliated with Jewish would remain small, its emphasison the connection between mind and body influenced scores of rabbis and thousands if not hundreds of thousands of American Jews, predating contemporary Jewish interest in spiritual healing by more than seventy years. Examining an important and previously unwritten chapter in the story of AmericanJudaism, this book sheds light on religious and social concerns of twentieth-century American Jewry, including ways in which adherence to Jewish Science helped thousands bridge the perceived gap between Judaism and modernity.

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During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, thousands of American Jews were drawn to the teachings of Christian Science. Viewing such attraction with alarm, American Reform Rabbis sought to counter Christian Science's appeal by formulating a Jewish vision of happiness and health.Unlike Christian Science, it acknowledged t...

Ellen M. Umansky is at Fairfield University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:260 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.1 inPublished:November 19, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195044002

ISBN - 13:9780195044003

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"With the skill of a consummate detective, Ellen Umansky uncovers in this volume a forgotten chapter in the history of American Judaism. Her narrative brings to life a wide range of fascinating characters, Orthodox and Reform, men and women alike. It sheds light on everything from the Jewishresponse to Christian Science to the contemporary movement of Jewish healing, and from pastoral psychology to modern feminism. Brilliantly researched and full of surprises."--Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History