April 14, 2015

John Harvey Kellogg and the Search For Spiritual and Physical Wellness

Indiana University Press has published:

Brian C. Wilson,  Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living (2014).

Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.

2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards finalist

Purveyors of spiritualized medicine have been legion in American religious history, but few have achieved the superstar status of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his Battle Creek Sanitarium. In its heyday, the “San” was a combination spa and Mayo Clinic. Founded in 1866 under the auspices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and presided over by the charismatic Dr. Kellogg, it catered to many well-heeled health seekers including Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Presidents Taft and Harding. It also supported a hospital, research facilities, a medical school, a nursing school, several health food companies, and a publishing house dedicated to producing materials on health and wellness. Rather than focusing on Kellogg as the eccentric creator of corn flakes or a megalomaniacal quack, Brian C. Wilson takes his role as a physician and a theological innovator seriously and places his religion of “Biologic Living” in an on-going tradition of sacred health and wellness. With the fascinating and unlikely story of the "San" as a backdrop, Wilson traces the development of this theology of physiology from its roots in antebellum health reform and Seventh-day Adventism to its ultimate accommodation of genetics and eugenics in the Progressive Era.

Kellogg is notable for his development and marketing of a breakfast cereal which he called Granula and later Granola. Because of a patent dispute, he later changed the name to Corn Flakes. He established a sanitorium at Battle Creek, where one of his patients was C. W. Post, who created his own line of breakfast foods. Kellogg thought that Post had pilfered the formula for his cereals from Kellogg's own recipe. Kellogg was particularly concerned about what he thought were social and individual sexual excesses, and he supported the work of such moralists and social reformers as Anthony Comstock.

 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living

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