Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Bible

  • Rembrandt: Tobias Healing His Father’s Blindness

    James L. FranklinChicago, Illinois, United States Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s Tobias Healing his Father’s Blindness, painted in 1636, depicts the climactic moment in the Book of Tobit when Tobias returns to his father’s home and instills the gall (bile) he had taken from a giant fish into his blind father’s eyes, thereby restoring his sight.1…

  • Jean Astruc, the “compleat physician”

    Jean Astruc was born in 1684 in Sauve, France and studied medicine at Montpellier, graduating in 1703. He then became professor of medicine in Toulouse (1710) and Montpellier (1716), superintendent of the local mineral waters (1721), physician to the king of Poland (1729), and professor of medicine at the royal College of Medicine in Paris…

  • And for unto us… Medicine, Messiah, and Christmas

    Desmond O’NeillDublin, Ireland Although the very first performance of the Messiah took place in April 1742 in Dublin with the London première following in March 1743, the oratorio is closely associated with the Christmas season in the Anglophone world. The origin of this custom has been claimed by the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston…

  • Was Moses an alchemist?

    S.E.S. Medina Benbrook, Texas, United States   Worshiping the golden calf, as in Exodus 32:1-35. Illustration from a Bible card published 1901 by the Providence Lithograph Company. Via Wikimedia. “And he took the (golden) calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the…

  • Review: The History of the World in 100 Pandemics, Plagues and Epidemics

    Arpan BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The publication of this book could not have been better timed. The book sets out to show how pandemics, epidemics, and infectious diseases have shaped human history over the last 5,000 years. Its contents help us place the current COVID-19 epidemic in its rightful historical context. Famine, war, and pestilence have…

  • Rilke: A poet’s death

    Nicolas Roberto RoblesBadajoz, Spain Rose, oh reiner widerspruch, lust,Niemandes schlaf zu sein under soviel lidern Rose, o pure contradiction, desire,to be no one’s sleep beneath so many lids. – Rainer Maria Rilke, epitaph On December 4, 1875, René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (later changed to Rainer Maria Rilke) was born in Prague, the…

  • In the beginning: the Bible’s solution to obesity

    Josie HulmeNorth Ogden, Utah, United States One Bible story clearly related to health is that of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had conquered the people of Judah and brought many Israelites back to his own land. To speed the cultural assimilation of his new subjects, he commanded that some of the choicest youth be brought…