Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 237–252 | Cite as

The Holistic Way: John Wesley’s Practical Piety as a Resource for Integrated Healthcare

  • Melanie Dobson Hughes
Original Paper


In the midst of the multifarious healthcare of the 21st century an Anglican clergyman from the 18th century named John Wesley can serve as a valuable resource for contemporary Christians seeking to faithfully live a life of well-being which incorporates different forms of medicine. In order to explore Wesley’s contributions to integrative care this essay will first situate Wesley in his 18th century context—a time period not completely unlike our own in which medicine was also experiencing dramatic shifts in practice and philosophy. In order to demonstrate his integration of the medical knowledge of his day the essay will look at Wesley’s own medical practices and his relationships to physicians as forging a “middle way” between physic and empiricism. The essay will examine Wesley’s theology as a practical piety which is grounded in a holistic sotieriology that sustains an integrative medicine (caring for body, mind, and spirit). Finally, the essay concludes with possibilities for integrated medicine in our own day as informed by a Wesleyan “way” of holistic practice.


John Wesley Integrated medicine Holism Medical philosophy Practical piety 


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Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Theology and EthicsDuke University Divinity SchoolDurhamUSA

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