1st Edition

Health and Healing in World Religions A Guide to Developing Cultural Competencies

By Gillian McCann Copyright 2025
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Health and Healing in World Religions is a comprehensive introduction to the field that explores the research that links spirituality and well-being, including work with addiction and trauma.

    Each chapter includes an introduction to and summary of each tradition, questions at the conclusion, and boxes that highlight key ideas from the chapter using an example and interviews with medical professionals and other healers. Health and Healing in World Religions looks at cutting edge interfaces between spirituality and health such as mindfulness practices, addiction programmes, indigenous approaches to healing, traditional Chinese medicine, yoga and Ayurveda, and more. The text provides an overview of the research and practice all in one place and includes extensive bibliographies and resource guides for ease of reference.

    Health and Healing in World Religions is derived from over twenty years of teaching and research in health and healing and comes from an in-depth understanding of religion and spirituality. It is a vital guide to understanding cultural competency in the healing professions and the need to understand the cultural and spiritual traditions of clients.

    1.  What is Health: Understanding the Connection Between Religion, Spirituality and Well Being  2. Tracing the Religious Roots of Biomedicine Through Ancient Egypt and Greece  3.  Technologies of the Sacred: Shamanism and Neo-Shamanism in the Contemporary World  4.  Maintaining the Spiritual Centre: Indigenous Approaches to Health and Healing  5.  The Art of Living: Hinduism and Healing  6.  Establishing Harmony: Health and Healing in Chinese Traditions  7.  May All Be Free From Suffering: Buddhism and Healing  8.  I Am the Lord Your Healer: Health and Healing in the Jewish Tradition  9.  Proclaim the Kingdom and Heal the Sick: Christianity and Healing  10.   Allah Shall Heal the Hearts of All Believers: Islam and Healing  11.  Subtle Bodies: Metaphysical Approaches to Healing  Appendices


    Gillian McCann is an associate professor in the Religions and Cultures Program at Nipissing University in Ontario, Canada.


    "What a terrific book, and what a great contribution. All of us who teach courses on the history of medicine or on the intersections among religion, health, and healing owe a great debt of gratitude to Gillian McCann. This is a book that I've been waiting for—and praying for—for many years. It should become a go-to text for such courses for years to come."

    Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH, University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and professor of medical humanities at Baylor University

    "Gillian McCann has written a marvelous book that helps us to better understand the world’s religions through the lens of health and healing. What is particularly impressive is how she covers both the different traditions as well as how those traditions have changed over time."

    Amir Hussain, professor of theological studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

    "The book is skilfully written for clients and healthcare providers by a qualified professional. It is a courageous book that holds transformational potential for clients and caregivers to see into the varied meanings within the experience of illness, a relationality that enhances one’s wellbeing, and a peace beyond the suffering."

    Rev. Mary Sue Barnett, level 1 trauma center chaplain and co-editor of Spiritual Healing from Sexual Violence: An Intersectional Guide