Promises of Purity

Adventist Approaches to Sanctification through Health Reform


  • Emily J Bailey Towson University



Seventh-day Adventism, Ellen G. White, dietary reform, Battle Creek Sanitarium, John Harvey Kellogg


At the turn of the nineteenth century “purity” movements, like those practiced at the Seventh-day Adventist Battle Creek Sanitarium, were an outlet for individuals striving to reconcile their health with heterodox religious views about the Second Coming of Christ. This article examines the letters and writings of professed prophet Ellen G. White and Adventist promotional materials for the Battle Creek Sanitarium as they relate to broader health reforms at the time. In pamphlets, catalogues, and menus, the Sanitarium promised patients/patrons the latest medical advances to help restore their bodies, while White also hoped to save their souls. According to White, sanctification was possible through austerities in diet and health reform, making “the San” and its offshoots religiously significant players in the spiritual and health marketplaces of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Author Biography

Emily J Bailey, Towson University

Religious Studies, Assistant Professor


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How to Cite

Bailey, E. J. (2020). Promises of Purity: Adventist Approaches to Sanctification through Health Reform. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 10(2), 159–184.