FAITH BEYOND FAITH HEALING: Finding Hope After Shattered Dreams

Kimberly Winston, Author . Paraclete $12.95 (150p) ISBN 978-1-55725-299-9

Dallas Morning News and PW freelancer Winston promises to explore what happens when faith healing fails, but delivers something different. Weaving together several pieces on spirituality and healing, she offers a few that are strong in and of themselves, but her chapters do not add up to a coherent book. Individual faith healing stories are interspersed among chapters that provide history and analysis, but these stories and analyses veer off in enough different directions that, in the end, it is difficult to identify any dominant themes or messages. For example, after a strong start that includes the story of an elderly woman who tragically trusts in a televangelist, followed by a succinct but comprehensive history of faith healing, Winston launches into the sweet but meandering story of a woman who, after a long fight with cancer, finally succumbs. Faith healing does play a role in this woman's story, but Winston does little to make this narrative fit her putative theme. It is at this point that the book begins to feel like an attempt to synthesize fairly disparate material into a monograph. Particularly jarring is Winston's abrupt transition from a discussion of Christian sects that eschew medical help to a chapter about healing rituals in the Jewish community. More rigorous revision may have enabled Winston to transform these well-written articles into a unified whole, but, as is, the book is little more than a compilation. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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