History of Medicine

Medicine and Religion

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 […]

Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis, The Expropriation of Health

“The medical establishment has become a major threat to health.” This is the opening statement and basic contention of Ivan Illich’s searing social critique. In Limits to Medicine Ivan Illich has enlarged on this theme of disabling social services, schools, and transport, which have become, through over-industrialization, harmful to man. In this radical contribution to […]

The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus

Allen Verhey A renowned ethicist who himself faced death during a life-threatening illness, Allen Verhey  sets out to recapture dying from the medical world. Seeking to counter the medicalization of death that is so prevalent today, Verhey revisits the fifteenth-century Ars Moriendi, an illustrated spiritual self-help manual on “the art of dying.” Finding much wisdom […]

Disability in the Christian Tradition

Brian Brock and John Swinton, eds. For two millennia Christians have thought about what human impairment is and how faith communities and society should respond to people with perceived impairments. But never has one volume collected the most significant Christian writings on disability. This book fills that gap.  Brian Brock and John Swinton’s Disability in […]

Mending Bodies, Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals

Today hospitals are of quite ambiguous character. In urban regions they are the hubs of medical care, providing the medical expertise, skills, and technology demanded and expected. Teaching hospitals and medical schools are the shrines of medical progress and of last hope as well, to mention just a few aspects intriguing at first sight. These […]

Healing and Christianity: A Classic Study

“Modern medicine has tended to look back to Hippocrates and Galen as the only ancient source and inspiration of modern medical practice. But this presents a very incomplete picture. As one physician pointed out,” – Morton T. Kelsey Get this book.

Medicine and Healthcare in Early Christianity

Drawing on New Testament studies and recent scholarship on the expansion of the Christian church, Gary B. Ferngren presents a comprehensive historical account of medicine and medical philanthropy in the first five centuries of the Christian era. From Publisher Get this book.

The New Medicine: Life and Death After Hippocrates

Nigel M. de S. Cameron. “The argument of the book is, in short, that the incipient collapse of the Hippocratic tradition is leading to the development of a ‘new medicine’ in which the moral vision that has driven medicine is being displaced… The life issues encompass both the old questions of abortion and euthanasia – […]

The Theology of Illness

Jean-Claude Larchet This book offers us fresh insight into the mystery of evil, sin, and illness, and their place within our struggle towards holiness… It gives us renewed hope, by locating the “problem of pain” in a profoundly theological framework, in which ultimate resolution of the mystery of illness and suffering is provided by the […]

The Hippocratic Oath (Ancient Version)

This is the original version of the famed Hippocratic Oath, which physicians 2500 years ago took. While we no longer swear by the Greek gods, notice the deeply religious overtones of this oath. In addition, one can see how in the second paragraph, medicine is very much a carefully guarded body of knowledge. Finally, notice the emphasis […]

John Rock’s Error

Malcolm Gladwell This article in The New Yorker explores the history of the Pill, while delving into John Rock – its inventor’s – deeply held religious beliefs. It leads us to ask questions about what “normal” is and the muddled world of science. From Ed. John Rock was christened in 1890 at the Church of the […]

Against Heterosexuality

Michael W. Hannon In this article, Hannon argues that the idea of sexual orientation and that the categories of “homosexual” and “heterosexual” are relics of a bygone era which cloud, rather than clarify discussions about human sexuality. He proposes that Christians should view this framework’s demise as an opportunity to establish a clearer Biblical view of sexuality. From Ed. Alasdair […]

The Hippocratic Oath (Modern Version)

Compare to the ancient version of this oath. From Ed. I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will […]