Thursday, 5 February 2015

Heidi Marx-Wolf: Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability - Doctors and Patients

Although on rare occasions, Christian writers demonized and vilified Greco-Roman medicine and its practitioners, recent scholarship has highlighted the ways in which Christians participated enthusiastically in medical education (it is difficult to identify a Patristic writer who does not use medical metaphors or employ basic principles undergirding classical medicine and biology). Christians also practiced as doctors, and a number of early Christian martyrs were doctors (Saint Panteleon was supposedly a physician at the court of one of the Tetrarchs, and two of the most important healing saints of late antiquity were the doctors Kosmas and Damian). As patients, Christians also availed themselves of a wide variety of healing options within the “medical marketplace.”

Using the lens of doctors and patients, this workshop explores the interrelationship between religious change in late antiquity and changes in medical knowledge, education, and practice. It will consider some of the ways in which Christians related to traditional Greco-Roman medicine and how Christianity in turn changed medicine.

Helen Rhee, "Patients in early Christianity"
Jared Secord, “Galen and the Theodotians: Embryology and Adoptionism in the Christian Schools of Rome”
Anna Rack-Teuteberg, “Saintly Doctors and Doctor Saints: the Latin Miracles of Kosmas and Damian”
Heidi Marx-Wolf, "Late Ancient Doctors: Mapping Social Location and Education in Inscriptions, Papyri, and Literary Texts"

This session belongs to the larger group of workshops on “Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability” and should not be scheduled to meet at the same time as other sessions for this series.

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