In early 2011, I received a grant which enabled me to travel to Abadiania, Brazil to visit and witness the healings of psychic surgeon João Teixeira de Faria (known to thousands as “John of God”). Hundreds of people make the daily journey to this small rural town with the hopes of being healed of physical, spiritual, and emotional ailments through visible and invisible “surgeries” – ritualistic performed slicing of bodies to release negative energy contaminating the body and spirit. João is part of a long history of Brazilian Spiritist healers who channel past saints and physicians, the most famous being his mentor Chico Chavier. João's most common visible surgeries include inserting pliers into the nose, scraping the eyeball with a scalpel, and slicing the skin to insert his fingers and remove contaminated physical tissue. He uses no anesthesia or pain medicine, nor does he sterilize his tools – yet his followers claim no pain or infection.
The phenomenon of John of God embodies a unique connection between faith and the physical body, putting into question epistemologies of Western medical science and contemporary methods of healing.
Jesus No Lago de Genesare, 2011
Michael - Brain Tumor, 2011
Crying Eyes, 2011
Eye Patch, 2011
Prayer Portal , 2011
Waiting Room, 2011
Sharon - Autoimmune Disease, 2011