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30 Dec 2011

Recommended resources

by The Editors | Issue 101

• Amundsen, Darrel. (1996). Medicine, Society, and Faith in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Amundsen’s exploration of early Christian attitudes toward medicine and physicians includes a discussion of the spiritual usefulness of suffering and illness—and how this made Christian views significantly different from those of the pagans.

• Crislip, Andrew T. (2005). From Monastery to Hospital: Christian Monasticism and the Transformation of Health Care in Late Antiquity . Ann Arbor: University of...

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30 Dec 2011

The charitable revolution

by Adam J. Davis, adapted by Chris R. Armstrong | Issue 101

THE HIGH POINT of the middle ages brought an unprecedented explosion of Christian ministry to those in physical distress. Across Europe, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries birthed hundreds of leper houses and hospitals for the sick and poor, along with hospitaller and military orders (See “Our lords the sick,” p. 31), lay confraternities (organizations dedicated to charity, mutual support, and religious devotion), monasteries, and penitential groups doing charitable work.

Bishops and monks founded many of the new hospitals and sustained...

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30 Dec 2011

“Our lords the sick”

by Theresa M. Vann | Issue 101

IMAGINE a reasonably well-off farmer living in twelfth-century Europe. All his life he has heard about the brave crusading knights who rescued Jesus’ tomb from the infidels. Now he is going to Jerusalem to see the tomb himself.

But the journey is long and arduous, the ship crowded and filthy. When he arrives at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, he is weak, ill, and far from home. He collapses in the street, expecting to die. Instead, a man wearing a religious habit picks him up and brings him to a large, clean hospital just opposite the...

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30 Dec 2011

The hospital experience

by Jennifer L. Woodruff Tait | Issue 101

IT IS THE MIDDLE AGES and you are sick or injured. You are not wealthy enough to afford the luxury of being treated by a doctor in your home. Or you are traveling from one village to another and need a place to lodge for the night. Or you are a monk or nun who has become ill and needs special care within the monastery or convent. Or, perhaps, you have received from a panel of experts in your parish the dreaded diagnosis—leprosy. What will you do? Where will you go? How will you be taken care of? For all of these conditions, the answer was...

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30 Dec 2011

Timeline: Healthcare and hospitals in the mission of the church

by The Editors | Issue 101

— Early 2nd century: Christians by this time have developed church infrastructure to assist the sick. This assistance is usually led by deacons and deaconesses and focuses on palliative care.

— Late 2nd century: Galen (c. 131–201) practices as a physician and publishes the medical treatises that will form the basis of Western medicine for centuries.

— 250–51: Devastating plague spreads throughout the Western Roman Empire, causing the church to expand its program of benevolence. The church at Rome is said to minister to 1,500 widows and...

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30 Dec 2011

From poorhouse to hospital

by Timothy S. Miller | Issue 101

THE MODERN WEST owes much to ancient Greece and Rome, including the building blocks of constitutional law and the traditional categories of academic disciplines. Even our scientific terms derive from Greek or Latin. The pagan Greco-Roman world did not give modern Western civilization hospitals, however. These institutions first appeared in the fourth century A.D., organized by Christian churches in the Greek (eastern) half of the Roman Empire.

Ancient Greece had centers to cure the sick—the temples of Asklepios (spelled “Asclepios” by the...

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30 Dec 2011

Basil’s House of Healing

by Timothy S. Miller | Issue 101

WE HAVE HEARD of the early monastics: the demon-battling desert father Antony of Egypt; Simeon the Stylite perched atop his pole for year upon year; the brilliant, passionate Augustine; and the austere, irascible Jerome. Their lifestyles of severe self-denial may seem to pull against the truth that God made us ­human beings and called us “very good”—bodies and all.

But if monastics really thought of the body as evil, then how is it that some of the greatest strides in the history of healthcare arose within monasticism? Monks cared for the...

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30 Dec 2011

Did You Know?

by The Editors | Issue 101

IN THE EARLY YEARS of the faith, pagans and ­Christians shared similar attitudes toward medicine and healing, but the church fathers believed God created the material world for the use of humankind, and this influenced their views of medicine:

Clement held that, within God’s created order, understanding is from God, and many things in life arise from the exercise of human reason, although its ­kindling spark comes from God. Health obtained through medicine is one of these things that has its origin and existence as a consequence of divine...

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Products

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    Christian History Magazine #101: Healthcare and Hospitals

    • Magazine
    • 2011
    • 36 Pages
    • Christian History Institute

    Christian History Magazine featuring Healthcare and Hospitals in the mission of the Church

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  • History of Christian Worship: Part 6, The Embrace $11.99

    History of Christian Worship: Part 6, The Embrace

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    • 56 Minutes
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    • 2012
    • Ensign Media

    A History of Christian Worship: Ancient Ways, Future Paths is a six-part series that explores centuries of worship practices, as seen through the eyes of Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches. From scripture, sermons and creeds to baptism and the Eucharist, from art and music to drama and media, from prayer and contemplation to service and ministry, viewers will discover the significant people and events that have shaped history and learn how modern worship practices are rooted in the earliest foundations of the Christian faith.

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