Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Christianity

  • We are all hospitalized (metaphorically speaking)

    F. Gonzalez-CrussiChicago, Illinois, United States Among the many species of adversity that unavoidably befall us during life, to become a hospitalized patient is not the slightest. Today, hardly anyone is exempted: life begins and ends inside hospital quarters. We are born in some obstetrics suite and die amid beeps of life-supporting equipment, the hiss of…

  • 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…

  • Fasting: For body and spirit

    Isabel AzevedoPorto, Portugal Having struggled with the obesity epidemic for decades,1,2 the scientific and health care communities are now giving attention to the effects of fasting for preventing and treating this important health problem. Appearing at first sight to be a simple issue of energetic balance, obesity has been shown instead to be a complex…

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

    Christina Perri Stony Brook, New York, United States   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…

  • Pantaleon or Pantaleimon—A most noble physician

    Maria MonteiroPorto, Portugal As information about the life of Saint Pantaleon is entangled with tradition, it difficult to distinguish myth from facts. Nevertheless, according to several sources, Pantaleon was born c. AD 275, son of the rich pagan Eustorgius of Nicomedia. His name means “a lion in everything.” Later he would be renamed Pantaleímon (from…

  • Reconstructing the world’s first hospital: The Basiliad

    Thomas Heyne Boston, United States    St. Basil “A noble thing is philanthropy, and the support of the poor, and the assistance of human weakness…” So rang the emotional words of Bishop Gregory Nazianzen during the funeral oration delivered for his dear friend Basil of Caesarea in 379. Wishing to remind his audience of Basil’s…

  • John Wesley: Amateur physician and health crusader

    Paul DakinLondon, United Kingdom John Wesley was an 18th century Anglican priest, Fellow of Lincoln College and Oxford don, with an intellect and energy that resulted in over 400 publications and the riding of a quarter of a million miles to preach forty thousand sermons.1 The movement he reluctantly founded, disparagingly called “Methodism,” channeled the…

  • Doctorum Ecclesiae: The medical clerics of the Diocese of Bath and Wells, England

    Adam S. KomorowskiSang Ik SongLimerick, Ireland It is difficult to remember that in medieval and early modern Europe the church was often the locus of medical practice and that medicine and religion had a symbiotic co-existence.1 Many of the early Christian Church Fathers, some given the title Doctors of the Church, saw their roles to include…

  • Is healthcare a right?

    Ronald PiesBoston, 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 there are significant…

  • Death as it should be

    Anthony PapagiannisThessaloniki, Greece I had never talked with my father about his death. Even though he had had numerous and regular transactions with medicine since my penultimate year in medical school, he never touched this particular subject and I would not be the one to bring it up. Despite my training and professional involvement with…