John Craven, DC

John Craven’s contributions to the philosophy of chiropractic can hardly be overestimated. He collaborated with B.J. Palmer on the 2nd edition of The Philosophy of Chiropractic: Vol. 5. Craven wrote most of the sections for the “Normal Complete Cycle.” His chapters were based on the articles he published in The Chiropractor journal between 1914 and 1916. He also collaborated with B.J. Palmer on the second edition of Vol. 2. Those were B.J. Palmer’s two philosophy texts.

Craven was also the philosophy teacher of Ralph W. Stephenson. Stephenson’s 1927 Chiropractic Textbook was required reading at Palmer College for decades. It is still printed. The book cites Vol. 5 in several places.

Craven was an ordained Methodist minister, prior to earning his D.C. degree in 1912 and joining the faculty in 1913. Craven officiated marriages at PSC, including the 1917 wedding of Carl S. Cleveland and Rose Ruth Ashworth. The two founded Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City. Keating and Carl Cleveland III, co-authored a biography of Sylva Ashworth, Rose Ruth’s mother. Craven also performed the Sunday services on WOC radio in the 1920s, including the first outdoor Easter service on the school’s rooftop in 1924.

Craven’s Philosophical Writings

In addition to his contributions to Volume 5, which was reprinted almost every year between 1916-1920, Craven also wrote, Chiropractic Orthopedy (volume 15, 1922) and Chiropractic Hygiene and Pediatrics (volume 3, 1924). Both books containing references to Innate Intelligence, in keeping with the tradition of creating physiology textbooks that are expressions of a philosophical worldview.


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