ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (Trivester)-- According to Newswise (, Candy Gunther Brown, an Associate Professor in the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a $150,000 grant to pursue research on divine healing practices and their involvement in globalization.

Candy Gunther Brown is a historian and ethnographer of religion and culture. Her research interests include American Religious History, Spiritual Healing Practices, Religious Print Cultures, Evangelicalism, Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity, Globalization, and Healthcare Management

Brown said the research helps provide a broader understanding of Pentecostal Christianity, which is the fastest-growing segment of Christianity in the U.S. and much of the world. She noted that according to some surveys, 70 to 80 percent of U.S. respondents believe God heals people in answer to prayer and that in many Latin American, Asian and African countries where Pentecostal growth is occurring most rapidly.

"People who need healing are willing to try anything," said Candy Gunther Brown, "There's an American penchant to have it all -- both the MRIs and the miracles." 

Prayer for spiritual healing is scarcely restricted to "faith healers" who attract large crowds. It has become increasingly common over the past 30 years to find Protestant and Catholic churches hosting healing services and to find lay Christians offering to pray for the people they meet. Medical doctors can be found praying for their patients. Increasing numbers of medical schools include courses on patient spirituality. Clinical studies of the effectiveness of intercessory prayer have proliferated.