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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: WMU Professor's Book on John Harvey Kellogg's Religion of Biologic Living

Western Michigan University Professor of Comparative Religion Brian C. Wilson says his research into the history of Battle Creek revealed a fascinating mix of religious faith.   

Wilson's new book is called  Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living. He told WMUK's Zinta Aistars that Kellogg was a Seventh Day Adventist. Wilson says the Protestant denomination focuses on the second coming of Christ and the idea of "biologic living." This interview is a longer version of one heard on Arts & More heard on November 25th. 

Kellogg built the Battle Creek Sanitarium to promote "biologic living." Wilson says the idea was to follow the physical laws of health in addition to the moral laws of the Ten Commandments. He says that Kellogg came to believe that a perfect human being was possible. Wilson says Kellogg believed that God had given people the resources to achieve perfection in this life. He says the idea of a "perfect body" was troubling to some leaders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. 

WMU Professor and author Brian C. Wilson
Brian Wilson

Wilson says ultimately there were conflicts between Kellogg and church leaders. That lead to Kellogg and his brother William K. Kellogg both being struck from the rolls of the church. 

The Sanitarium was "remarkable" according to Wilson. He says the building housed hundreds of people. It includes special rooms for various treatments, such as water and light.

Wilson says a fire burned the old Victorian building to the ground in 1902. Kellogg rebuilt the new sanitarium within 14 months. That building still stands today. Wilson says the decline started after it was improved and opened just as the stock market crashed. It was sold to the federal government, became an army hospital, and is now the home of the Defense Logistical Center for Homeland Security. 

Wilson will speak at the Portage District Library at 6:30p.m.on January 15th

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.
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