Does Prayer Heal?: A Discourse Analysis
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Abstract Intro: Clinical experiments on intercessory prayer and distant healing produce very mixed and inconclusive results. With modern advancements in experimental techniques, methodology is more stringent than ever. Despite questionable evidence some researchers still remain open minded to the efficacy of spiritual healing. This study uses discourse analysis to assess how such studies are justified and validated in academic fields. Method: 5 different experiments are considered and make up the data. Data is read, coded and relevant information is extracted making up the themes and points of focus for research. Results: Three main themes are considered and discussed: Historical relevance, believer and skeptic stances and scientific scrutiny. Discussion: Discourse analysis has been shown to be a useful tool in analyzing the function of language in various studies of intercessory prayer and distance healing. It has also hopefully offered the possibility of analyzing different areas of medical discourse in some depth. It is hoped that future research can extend the arguments of the present study.