Project Explores Healing and African-descended Spirituality

January 28, 2001


On January 28, 2001, reported on "a groundbreaking $750,000 research venture called the Boston Healing Landscape Project. Funded by the Ford Foundation...and implemented by the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, the project's main focus will be examining communities of African descent in the Boston area and exploring how people use alternative and complementary methods of healing. The data collected may to be used to shape and broaden the ways the medical establishment currently treats patients...'We hope to explore all the African-descended religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, the Nation of Islam, African-descended Caribbean and Brazilian traditions like Candomble, Santeria and Vodou, African traditions like Nigerian Ifa, and even newer groups like the Nuwabian Nation and the Black Hebrews,' said Dr. Linda Barnes, director of the project." Dr. Barnes is a Pluralism Project affiliate. (Her website can be found at Boston is an ideal place for the study because of its "diverse communities of people of African descent." Barnes said most studies on alternative healing now "focus only on practices embraced predominantly by middle class European-Americans such as homeopathy, naturopathy and acupuncture."