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Prescribing Faith
Medicine, Media, and Religion in American Culture

By Claire Hoertz Badaracco

Prescribing Faith
Paperback $34.95
Published: 1st October 2007
ISBN: 9781932792898
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Cultural Studies, All Religious Studies, All Rhetoric Studies, Media Studies

The healing powers of medicine and prayer are often media headlines. Not explored is how media itself has shaped popular ideas about religion and health. Prescribing Faith traces the confluence of medicine, media and religion from mid-nineteenth century American culture to the present day. Badaracco examines how media portrays the relationship between religious faith and medicine, showing that the relationship is one fraught with conflict of interest, controversy, and paradox. Prescribing Faith offers valuable insight into deconstructing religion and medicine as shaped by today’s media.


1          Man’s Accidents are God’s Purposes

            Harvard & Heroic Cures

2          Launching a Scientific Religion

            Christian Science & the Book

3          Measuring Prayers

            Scientific Models of Religion 

4          Belief & Wellness

            Medical Pluralism & Healing

5          The Medicated Public Square

            Advertising Science





Badaracco provides an indispensable resource on the changing contents and contexts of medicine in America... This volume is a bravura treatment of vitally important issues... Essential. All levels. 


In this hard-nosed analysis of medicine, religion, and mass media, Claire Badaracco explains the history behind today’s wholesale promotion of anxiety over health.  Prescribing Faith is an engaging study that holds out the hope that spirituality will serve as an antidote to relentless pharmaceutical marketing.

—John P. Ferré, Professor of Communication, University of Louisville

Anyone who cares about health and healthcare in the United States will find Claire Hoertz Badaracco’s analysis of the sometimes complementary, competitive, symbiotic, and synergistic relationships between and among medicine, the media, and religion fascinating. Prescribing Faith deserves to be widely read and discussed by students, academics, policymakers and practitioners in medicine, pharmacy, journalism, advertising, and public relations. 

—Judith M. Buddenbaum, Professor Emerita, Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, Colorado State University

This book is a landmark account of the construction and commodification of medicine and health.

—Stewart M. Hoover, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado

Claire Hoertz Badaracco (Ph. D. Rutgers) is Full Professor in the College of Communication, Marquette University.  She is the editor of Quoting God: How Media Shape Ideas about Religion and Culture (Baylor University Press, 2005), Trading Words: Poetry, Typography, and Illustrated Books in the Modern Literary Economy (1995) and American Culture and the Marketplace (1992).

Publication Details:

 9in x 6in

  MED039000, SOC000000, SOC039000
 Baylor University Press

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