Medicine and Religion

Medicine and Religion : A Historical Introduction

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Medicine and Religion is the first book to comprehensively examine the relationship between medicine and religion in the Western tradition from ancient times to the modern era. Beginning with the earliest attempts to heal the body and account for the meaning of illness in the ancient Near East, historian Gary B. Ferngren describes how the polytheistic religions of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome and the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have complemented medicine in the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. Ferngren paints a broad and detailed portrait of how humans throughout the ages have drawn on specific values of diverse religious traditions in caring for the body. Religious perspectives have informed both the treatment of disease and the provision of health care. And, while tensions have sometimes existed, relations between medicine and religion have often been cooperative and mutually beneficial. Religious beliefs provided a framework for explaining disease and suffering that was larger than medicine alone could offer. These beliefs furnished a theological basis for a compassionate care of the sick that led to the creation of the hospital and a long tradition of charitable medicine. Praise for Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity, by Gary B. Ferngren: "This fine work looks forward as well as backward; it invites fuller reflection of the many senses in which medicine and religion intersect and merits wide readership." (Jama). "An important book, for students of Christian theology who understand health and healing to be topics of theological interest, and for health care practitioners who seek a historical perspective on the development of the ethos of their vocation." (Journal of Religion and Health).

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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 362.87g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1421412160
  • 9781421412160
  • 753,453

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This book is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in the intersection of religion and medicine... I expect this book to become required reading for many clinical health care and bioethics classes (as well as history classes). -- Sharon Packer Metapsychology Medicine and Religion will serve as a useful introduction to anyone - which means everyone - who will experience its twin themes. -- William Whyte Church Times This book is quite wonderful... It covers a large amount of history in the setting of a relatively short book, but the information that is contained in the eight chapters and epilogue is incredibly well presented in an easy-to-read manner. -- John F. Pohl Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith Gary B. Ferngren is familiar with the often volatile, always interesting intersections of science and religion. His Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction (2002) and Medicine and Healthcare in Early Christianity (2009), both published by Johns Hopkins University Press, made important contributions to the field. At last, instructors who wanted relatively succinct but authoritative treatments of these subjects had excellent additions to their classroom syllabi. This new book is no exception. -- Michael A. Flannery Medical History

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About Gary B. Ferngren

Gary B. Ferngren is a professor of history at Oregon State University, editor of Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, and author of Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity, both published by Johns Hopkins.

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