Silvia Leonhard

Guaritrici nel pietismo? Dialoghi di conversione e racconti di guarigione nel diario di Sophie von Wurstemberger (1809-1878)

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This paper is based on the examination of the entries of the diary of a pietist woman healer who lived in Berna in XIX century. Pietist conversion has an important role. It acts as a rite of passage and leads the author of the diary, as any pietist believer, into a completely new emotional world. By constantly scrutinizing their own emotional well-being the believers become more conscious of their spiritual condition. By interpreting the emotions of the sick people as being symptomatic of spiritual conflict, the true cause of the illness, the pietist healing practice makes extensive use of emotions as an index. The patient-healer relationship consists of an analysis of the emotions of the patient, built up during prolonged conversation. The analysis concentrates on the pietist healing practice, both in relation to the theoretical concepts of the oldest pietist medicine and its origins in popular medicine, "Caritas nobile", "Ars moriendi", etc.

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