Reinscribing the lived body: A qualitative study of extraordinary religious healing experiences in norwegian contexts
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionReligions. 2020, 11 (11), 1-21. 10.3390/rel11110563
Poor health often motivates people to engage in religious and spiritual approaches to healing. However, there is limited research on such experiences from a northern European perspective. This article investigates healing experiences related to Christian faith and practices in Norway by thematic analysis of 25 semi-structured interviews with individuals who have experienced healing of different ailments. In so doing, healing events across diverse contexts are characterised, and the results show that such experiences not only feature practices in which other people are present in prayer, preaching, and the laying on of hands, but also spontaneous extraordinary encounters with a divine being through visions and voices. The healing events are further described as experiences of transformational, powerful touch. In light of the lived body theory, these transformational experiences can be understood as re-inscriptions of health that are manifested in the intertwined bio–psycho–social–spiritual aspects of the body.