Title

Sin, Salvation, and the Medieval Physician: Religious Influences on Fourteenth Century Medicine

Date

6-1-2017 11:30 AM

End Time

1-6-2017 11:45 AM

Location

WUC Columbia Room

Department

History

Session Chair

Elizabeth M. Swedo

Session Title

History Senior Thesis presentations

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Elizabeth Swedo

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

During the global outbreak of the Black Death in the fourteenth century, medieval medical theories were tested. With an unknown disease wiping out populations globally, physicians sought to explain and combat the plague through religion and medicine. Scholars have recognized disparities in medical responses across cultures, without exploring the cause of these differences. My research focuses on variances between Christian and Muslim physicians’ theories of the disease by examining medical treatises. In his medical account of the plague, , renowned Muslim physician Lisān Al-Dīn Ibn al-Khatīb asserted that the theory of contagion was wrong, stating that the disease was under God’s control. However, as seen in by the Medical Faculty of the University of Paris, Christian physicians found no conflict between the idea of a creator, God, and the theory of contagion. Although the basis of medical knowledge in Muslim and Christian society came from classical Greece and Rome, use of that knowledge differed, implying that it was each religion’s concepts of sin and salvation that altered the medical response.

 
Jun 1st, 11:30 AM Jun 1st, 11:45 AM

Sin, Salvation, and the Medieval Physician: Religious Influences on Fourteenth Century Medicine

WUC Columbia Room

During the global outbreak of the Black Death in the fourteenth century, medieval medical theories were tested. With an unknown disease wiping out populations globally, physicians sought to explain and combat the plague through religion and medicine. Scholars have recognized disparities in medical responses across cultures, without exploring the cause of these differences. My research focuses on variances between Christian and Muslim physicians’ theories of the disease by examining medical treatises. In his medical account of the plague, , renowned Muslim physician Lisān Al-Dīn Ibn al-Khatīb asserted that the theory of contagion was wrong, stating that the disease was under God’s control. However, as seen in by the Medical Faculty of the University of Paris, Christian physicians found no conflict between the idea of a creator, God, and the theory of contagion. Although the basis of medical knowledge in Muslim and Christian society came from classical Greece and Rome, use of that knowledge differed, implying that it was each religion’s concepts of sin and salvation that altered the medical response.