Culture, Knowledge and Healing: Historical Perspectives of Homeopathic Medicine in Europe and North America

Edited with Robert Jütte and John Woodward. Sheffield: European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Publications, 1998.

Alternative or complementary medicine is on the rise around the world. These terms and others, such as holistic or integrative, characterize a number of therapeutic practices that are not closely linked to current notions of scientific medicine or subjected to its standard proofs of efficacy. This volume features one of the most popular and best-studied alternative practices: homeopathy. With some important revisions and additions, it contains a number of essays written by prominent medical historians who participated at a conference organized under the auspices of the Department of the History of Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart. With additional support from the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., the primary goal of this 1993 meeting was to bring the history of homeopathy within a broader international context and reexamine its status as an alternative medical system with the tools of social history and employment of clinical records. The book breaks new ground, placing homeopathy within particular national networks of professionals and lay persons. An extensive, consolidated bibliography provides additional reading suggestions.


Guenter B. Risse

Orthodoxy and Otherness: Homeopathy and Regular Medicine in Nineteenth-Century America
John Harley Warner

American Homeopathy Confronts Scientific Medicine
Naomi Rogers

The Paradox of Professionalisation: Homeopathy and Hydropathy as Unorthodoxy in Germany in the 19th and early 20th Century
Robert Jütte

Critics and Converts of Homeopathy: the Dutch Debate in the Nineteenth Century
Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra

Homeopathy in Victorian Canada and its Twentieth-Century Resurgence: Professional, Cultural and Therapeutic Perspectives
J.T.H. Connor

Homeopathy in the American West: its German Connections
Joseph Schmidt

The Role of Medical Societies in the Professionalisation of Homeopathic Physicians in Germany and the USA
Martin Dinges

The Role of Laymen in the History of German Homeopathy
Dörte Staudt

Sectarian Identity and the Aim of Integration: Attitudes of American Homeopaths Towards Smallpox Vaccination in the Late Nineteenth Century
Eberhard Wolff

It Won't Do Any Harm: Practice and People at the London Homoeopathic Hospital, 1889-1923
Bernard Leary, Maria Lorentzon & Anna Bosanquet

Appendix: Records on Homeopathic Physicians in American Archives: A Preliminary Directory
Arnold Michalowski

Consolidated Bibliography



Because of the breadth, and the knowledge of contributors, this collection affords a truly significant milestone in the history of homeopathy…In all, this significant volume, and the cornucopia it presents to the medical historian, is an indication of the rich resources that lie, largely untapped, in the history of homeopathy and its fortunes in the United States and elsewhere.
— Francesco Cordasco, Pharmacy in History 42 (2000): 128-30
This book is well worth the purchase by libraries, historians sociologists, social anthropologists, and those interested in complementary medicine. Each of the contributors has given a distinctive edge to the topic…The articles are noteworthy in that they seek to sort out the paradoxes that define the popularity of homeopathy in the age of reductionist science.
— John S. Haller, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 73 (1999): 526-28
This volume constitutes a good example of the increasingly nuanced and sophisticated contemporary historiography dealing with health and illness outside of the Western scientific paradigm. In all, we find a collection of essays that allow us an excellent historical view of homeopathy, one of the most important so-called alternative medicines.
— Enrique Perdiguero, Dynamis 20 (2000): 569-72
The contributions include some of the ablest contemporary historians working in the field…it is commonly supposed that during the last century, regular medicine simply welded its fortunes more and more to science, while homeopathy remained hostile or indifferent to science. These essays to some extent challenge this viewpoint. They also tend to portray homeopathy a shifting, adaptive and fluid rather than dogmatic and hard-line.
— Peter Morrell, British Homeopathic Journal 88 (1999): 93-95