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Caring and Curing

, 622 pages
November 1997



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Caring and Curing

Health and Medicine in the Western Religious Traditions

Most religious traditions have a rich, if largely forgotten, heritage of involvement in medical issues of life, death, and health. Religious values influence our behavior and attitudes toward sickness, sexuality, and lifestyle, to say nothing of more controversial subjects such as abortion and euthanasia. The essays in this important book illuminate the history of health and medicine within the Judeo-Christian tradition. Bringing together 20 original articles by expert scholars in the fields of the history of religion and the history of medicine, Caring and Curing provides a fascinating and enlightening overview of how religious values have come to affect the practice of medicine and medical care.

Ronald L. Numbers is professor of the History of Medicine and the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His publications include Almost Persuaded: American Physicians and Compulsory Health Insurance, 1912-1920, God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science, and The Creationists. Darrel W. Amundsen is professor of Classics at Western Washington University. He is the author of numerous essays on the history of ancient and medieval medicine and is the author of Medicine, Society, and Faith in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, also available from Johns Hopkins.

"There are few books these days that can be called definitive, but Caring and Curing is one of them."

" Caring and Curing should be on the shelves of all parish priests [and] university and hospital chaplains and in the libraries of many doctors who have an interest in the relationship between the faith of patients and the practice of medicine today."

"A pioneer in the field."

"Taken together, these essays constitute an impressive discussion of the diffuse but pervasive presence of religion in modern life. And, as such, they should be of considerable interest not only to religious historians but also to all health care professionals who must make sense of the general public's attitudes toward the proper care of the human body."

"An excellent contribution to the field of church history."

"No review could ever do justice to the originality, depth, and scope of these chapters."

" Caring and Curing [is] a must for anybody involved in medicine."