Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity

Medicine and Health Care 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 th

  • Title: Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity
  • Author: Gary B. Ferngren
  • ISBN: 9780801891427
  • Page: 432
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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.Ferngren first describes how early Christians understood disease He examines the relationship of early Christian medicine to theDrawing 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.Ferngren first describes how early Christians understood disease He examines the relationship of early Christian medicine to the natural and supernatural modes of healing found in the Bible Despite biblical accounts of demonic possession and miraculous healing, Ferngren argues that early Christians generally accepted naturalistic assumptions about disease and cared for the sick with medical knowledge gleaned from the Greeks and Romans.Ferngren next explores the origins of medical philanthropy in the early Christian church Rather than viewing illness as punishment for sins, early Christians believed that the sick deserved both medical assistance and compassion Even as they were being persecuted, Christians cared for the sick both within and outside of their community Their long experience in medical charity led to the creation of the first hospitals, a singular Christian contribution to health care.Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity is essential reading for scholars and students in the history of medicine and religious studies.

    One thought on “Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity”

    1. This is an excellent book for those interested in the rise of Christianity and the history of medicine. Even if one is not particularly interested in the history of medicine, the author's thesis that Christianity revolutionized the compassion and motivation for medicine is both intriguing and persuasive.The author debunks the notion that Christians were against medical practice and favor mystical and magical healing. In fact, quite the opposite, Christian advanced the care and compassion of medi [...]

    2. I ran into this book browsing in the library stacks. It is a scholarly argument for a different view of the place of medicine in early Christianity. If I followed it he does not see early Christianity as a healing religion reliant on supernatural forces.Instead he sees christians as accepting greek medical ideas as a gift from god. Healing in the new testament was more as a proof of God's presence in Jesus. Christianity's major contribution to medicine was the introduction of the notion of compa [...]

    3. Ferngren makes huge assumptions based on minimal evidence. The arguments for rational Christian medicine are mostly logical as opposed to historical as if he were imposing the modern Christian paradigm on the ancient world. As such, it comes across as an unnecessary apologetic. However, as always, Ferngren is one of the most elegant writers in his field. Even if it seems like he's forcing his thesis, he can teach other historians how to write with panache.

    4. This is an amazing book that defends, in my reading, a justification for Christian's to support universal health care. I hope to write more about this book in the upcoming days on my blog for books, especially to reply to all my American friends who think that a federal health care plan in America is a bad idea. LOOK OUT for my 'A Christian Defence of Universal Health Care'!

    5. Insightful. Big take away: the Christian church was able to mobilize medical assistance to unbelievers because they had been taking care of one another. When disaster befell the city, the Christians were the only men with the ethical-theological grounding and practiced skill to care for the ailing. Christians of our day, learn from the past.

    6. Some interesting historical information, some terrible and unfounded conclusions, particularly in the earlier chapters. At some times it seems that Ferngern forgets his own thesis and argues needlessly and poorly against something else. However, the chapters on the early Christian hospitals were informative and interesting.

    7. I read this for my Judaism and Early Christianity class and I was surprised at how fast it moved. Engrossing for a "textbook" and I was able to digest the content quite easily.

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