The Healing Imperative: The Early Church and the Invention of Medicine as We Know It
“The hospital arose as a Christian institution utterly dependent on Christian principles,” writes Mike Aquilina in this engaging history. Some ancient cultures had rudimentary health care facilities where healers would beseech to the pagan gods and perform crude surgery and treatments. Sickness often was seen as divine punishment, and the poor and sometimes slaves were deemed unworthy of care. It took the Church, modeling Christ’s example of charity, hospitality, and compassion, to develop hospitals as true centers for healing that extended to all persons. If only modern health care models, which stand on the shoulders of countless monks, nuns, and saints of long-ago centuries, would remain faithful to that foundation.