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2. Christ the Physician
About this Lecture
In this module, we will look at the idea of Christ the Physician and how tending for the soul was achieved through pilgrimage and care in hospitals. The practice of religious pilgrimage was intimately connected to the idea of the cult of saints, and their perceived power to aid the sick. After this, we will turn to look at hospitals in the Middle Ages. Answering two questions: (i) what was a hospital in the medieval period? and (ii) how did these places function when caring for the soul and the body?
In this course, Dr Shelia Sweetinburgh (University of Kent) explores the relationship between the Church and medicine in medieval England. We will start by looking at what the Church taught about the body and soul, and how this influenced the practice of medicine in the Middle Ages. We will then look at the idea of Christ the Physician and how care for the soul was achieved through pilgrimage and care in hospitals. After this we will turn to investigate the Church’s response to care for the body through prevention and treatment of disease. In the fourth module, we will examine the different types of medical practitioners in the Middles Ages, and how the Church viewed each one. In the final section, we examine the fringe areas of medieval medicine and how the Church expressed unease at the existence of such practices.
Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh is a lecturer in History at the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. She completed her doctoral thesis on Kent’s medieval hospitals and the role of gift-giving. She has published widely on the topic of medieval medicine, including her book The Role of the Hospital in Medieval England: Gift-giving and the Spiritual Economy.
Cite this Lecture
Sweetinburgh, S. (2021, October 25). Medicine Through Time – The Church and Medieval Medicine, 1066-1500 - Christ the Physician [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/medicine-through-time-the-church-and-medieval-medicine/christ-the-physician
Sweetinburgh, Sheila. "Medicine Through Time – The Church and Medieval Medicine, 1066-1500 – Christ the Physician." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Oct 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/medicine-through-time-the-church-and-medieval-medicine/christ-the-physician