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1. The Soul and the Body
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore contemporary ideas about the soul and the body as taught by the Church in Western Christendom, and how this affected the ways people were expected to act when confronted by illness and death. We will look at the importance the Church placed on ideas taken from classical authorities, that were often mediated through Arabic texts, and how this perceived orthodoxy about the body influenced the practice of medicine in the Middle Ages.
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 - The Soul and the Body [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/medicine-through-time-the-church-and-medieval-medicine/the-soul-and-the-body
Sweetinburgh, S. "Medicine Through Time – The Church and Medieval Medicine, 1066-1500 – The Soul and the Body." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Oct 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/medicine-through-time-the-church-and-medieval-medicine/the-soul-and-the-body