Faith healing

In Appenzell Innerrhoden there are non-medical healers who use secret ancestral healing chants and blessings to alleviate pain, relieve fever, calm the blood, drive away warts or extinguish the “fire”. The healing power is passed down through the generations, but the faith healers are not allowed to charge a fee for their services.

Due to a favourable (Catholic) environment, the tradition of healing has remained particularly popular in the canton of Appenzell compared to other regions. It is, however, still practised in Central Switzerland and French-speaking Switzerland, particularly in the cantons of Jura and Fribourg. The healers either consider their services to be a prayer or they practise them with a deep personal connection to prayer. It is difficult to estimate the significance of faith healing within the health system. Even though most people in the canton are aware of this medical “sub-culture”, the practice is a phenomenon largely kept from public view. However, a great number of people have personal stories to tell of baffling, unexpected recovery after a visit to a faith healer.


Category


Canton


Detailed description

Gebetsheilen (PDF, 418 kB, 04.06.2018)Ausführliche Beschreibung

Publications

Martina Bühring: Heiler und Heilen. Eine Studie über Handauflegen und Besprechen in Berlin. Berlin, 1993

Anita Chmielewski-Hagius: «Was ich greif, das weich…». Heilerwesen in Oberschwaben, Münster, 1996

Roland Inauen, Erhard Taverna, Rudolf Widmer, Peter Witschi: Kräuter und Kräfte. Heilen im Appenzellerland. Ed. Walter Irniger. Herisau, 1995

Ebermut Rudolph: Die geheimnisvollen Ärzte. Von Gesundbetern und Spruchheilern. Olten, 1977

Ingo Schneider: Volksmedizin zwischen Tradition und Moderne. Von SchruchheilerInnen und MagnetiseurInnen im Montafon. In: Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde 89. Basel, 1993, p. 87-100

Keywords

Contact

Museum Appenzell
E-Mail

Print contact

https://www.lebendige-traditionen.ch/content/tradition/en/home/traditions/faith-healing.html