Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5320 USA
- Ph.D./M.A., Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1996
- Religious approaches to medicine
- Spiritual and religious healing
Dr. Brian Wilson is a professor in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University.
Wilson’s research and teaching interests include the religious aspects of alternative medicine in the United States. From the early 19th century on, a considerable number of Americans have been attracted to a wide variety of spiritual healing practices ranging from Mesmerism; Christian Physiology; Christian Science; New Thought to Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Pentecostal faith healing; and New Age therapies. More recently, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine have also gained in popularity.
In his teaching, he highlights both the theological basis and historical development of these practices as well ongoing conflicts and collaborations with orthodox medical and legal systems. Wilson's book, "The Battle for Battle Creek: Sectarian Competition in the Yankee West" explores the unique sectarian environment that led to the rise of the health industry in Battle Creek, including John Harvey Kellogg’s Battle Creek Sanitarium.