The Church of Divine Revelation and the Radiant Healing Center, in St. Catharines, Ontario, proposed that mystical realities shaped bodily and mental wellness. Receiving diagnoses and medical treatments from perceived disembodied beings, congregants in the 1920s and 1930s evoked the mystical origins of alternative medicine by envisioning health as a process through which spirit, mind and body coalesced. Female participants therefore were enabled to reject the label of pathology and heal themselves through the power of their minds. Uneasy with the label of paranormal or supernormal, members viewed their interactions as fulfilling rather than violating natural laws. In the process, spirits personified what Jeffrey Kripal has called "the sacred in transit" as they moved fluidly from the metaphysical to the physical. Crossing modern boundaries between faith and secular medicine, these St. Catharines spiritualists and the phantoms they envisioned reconceived the role of spirit as intervening in physical and mental processes.

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Keywords Alternative medicine, Healing, Paranormal, Spiritualism, Women
Persistent URL
Journal Nova Religio
Robertson, B.A. (2014). Radiant Healing: Gender, belief and alternative medicine in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada 1927-1935. Nova Religio, 18(1), 16–36. doi:10.1525/nr.2014.18.1.16