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Miracle CuresSaints, Pilgrimage, and the Healing Powers of Belief$
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Robert A. Scott

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262751

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262751.001.0001

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Belief, Hope, and Healing

Belief, Hope, and Healing

(p.128) Chapter Seven Belief, Hope, and Healing
Miracle Cures

Robert A. Scott

University of California Press

In matters of health, nothing is more fundamental to the practice of appealing to saints than hope and belief: the hope that cures for illness are possible and the abiding conviction that saints can facilitate them. Among the faithful, it is belief that kindles the hope that they may become well. Belief also figures prominently in the practice of modern medicine, powerfully influencing how people respond to treatment. Various terms are used to refer to the role of belief in healing today. The most familiar ones are placebo and the placebo effect; others include expectancy effects, the meaning response, the belief effect, nonspecific therapeutic effects, and the mind-body connection. This chapter measures patients' responses to sham treatments; the second studies the effects of health-care providers' beliefs on the patients to whom sham treatments are given.

Keywords:   health, saints, hope, belief, modern medicine, placebo, placebo effect, expectancy effects, sham treatments, health-care providers

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