Tag Archives: Christianity

Faith and patron saints during the Black Death

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   Saint Roch. 1502. Francesco Francia.  Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain.  The Black Death of 1348 was the greatest biomedical disaster in European history. Although it was not the first plague epidemic, the Black Death swept through Europe, killing millions indiscriminately and affecting society like no other natural calamity.1 Attempts to understand the […]

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

We are all hospitalized (metaphorically speaking)

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Right section of an etching titled Infirmus eram et visitastis me: (“I was sick and you visited me,” quoted from Matthew 25:36), sometimes attributed to Cornelius Galle. The left section (not shown) has Jesus Christ overseeing the hospital visit. Among the many species of adversity that unavoidably […]

John Calvin: his rule in Geneva and his many illnesses

At the age of twenty-three the great French religious reformer abandoned his Catholic faith, becoming in time the founder of one of the most important branches of Protestantism. During his life he wrote numerous tracts on various aspects of religion, notably emphasizing predestination and the supremacy of the Trinity, and advocating a simpler and more […]

Faith, neuroscience, and “the thorn” in Paul’s side: Abrahamic interpretations of epilepsy

Christina Perri Stony Brook, New York, USA   Despite the stigma surrounding epilepsy in the Abrahamic faith traditions, some Christian art uses the boy with epilepsy as a visual metaphor for the Passion. As the boy appears to die and rise from a seizure, so too Christ dies and rises to Heaven. The experience of […]

Is healthcare a right?

Ronald Pies Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane. —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Introduction In this paper, I examine the question of whether healthcare is regarded as a “basic human right” in the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Though […]

William Alcott and the cultural meaning of medical knowledge in the nineteenth century

Catherine Mas Chicago, Illinois, USA   Alcott, The House I Live in, 21 William Alcott (1798-1859) thought of himself as a medical missionary. He devoted most of his life’s work to spreading the nascent knowledge of anatomy and physiology infused with the message of Christian fulfillment. As a reformer and author of over 100 books, […]