Gary B. Ferngren and Ekaterina N. Lomperis have gathered a rich collection of annotated primary sources that illustrate the intersection of medicine and religion. Intended as a companion volume to Ferngren’s classic Medicine and Religion, which traces the history of the relationship of medicine to religion in the Western world from the earliest ancient Near Eastern societies to the twenty-first century, this useful and extensive sourcebook places each key document in historical context.
Drawing from more than 160 texts, the book explores a number of themes, including concepts of health, the causes and cure of disease, medical ethics, theodicy, beneficence, religious healing, consolation, and death and dying. Each chapter begins with an introduction that furnishes a basic historical setting for the period covered. Modern translations, some of which have been made especially for this volume, are used whenever possible. The texts are numbered sequentially within each chapter and preceded by a short introduction to both the author and the subject.
Touching on Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Rome, the European Middle Ages, Islam, early modern Europe, and the modern era, Essential Readings in Medicine and Religion brings a wide range of sources together to expand on the crucial lessons of Medicine and Religion. This book is a useful introduction for all students of history, divinity, medicine, and health.