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Book and Media Reviews
January 3, 2007

Medicine and Religion

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2007;297(1):94-98. doi:10.1001/jama.297.1.96

If one were to believe the popular media, the efficacy of faith-based therapies is well established. Even in the professional medical literature, there are those who assert the health benefits of prayer, attendance at religious services, and other religious activities. Richard P. Sloan, PhD, professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University, has written extensively on the relationship of medicine and religion and takes issue with this current trend.

Blind Faith is his attempt to answer the following questions: “1. Do the efforts to link religion and health represent good science? 2. Do they represent good medicine? 3. Do they represent good religion?”(p 10). This readable, well-reasoned book critically examines these issues and cites many of the recent important research papers on the subject. There is a 13-page index and a 13-page bibliography with more than 200 citations.