Author: Helen RheeBook Description
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 279
What did pain and illness mean to early Christians? And how did their approaches to health care compare to those of the ancient Greco-Roman world? In this wide-ranging interdisciplinary study, Helen Rhee examines the ways early Christians viewed illness, pain, and health care—and how they were influenced both by their own tradition and by the milieu of the larger ancient world. Throughout the book, Rhee places the history of medicine, Greco-Roman literature, and ancient philosophy in fruitful dialogue with early Christian literature and theology to show the nuanced ways Christians understood, appropriated, and reformulated Roman and Byzantine conceptions of health and wholeness from the second through the sixth centuries CE. Utilizing the contemporary field of medical anthropology, Rhee engages illness, pain, and health care as sociocultural matters. Through this and other methodologies, she explores the theological meanings attributed to illness and pain; the religious status of those suffering from these and other afflictions; and the methods, systems, and rituals that Christian individuals, churches, and monasteries devised to care for those who suffered. Rhee’s findings ultimately provide an illuminating glimpse into an instrumental way that Christians began shaping a distinct identity—both as part of and apart from their Greco-Roman world.