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Toward a Theology of Medicine 

Toward a Theology of Medicine
Toward a Theology of Medicine

Michael J. Balboni

, and Tracy A. Balboni

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date: 28 October 2020

This chapter highlights how within Western medicine’s partnership with the Abrahamic traditions, there were three foundational values informing why and how medicine should be practiced in caring for the sick: (1) the human body cannot be treated apart from the soul, (2) hospitality is the foundational motive driving clinicians and hospitals, and (3) medicine is a divine gift. The Abrahamic traditions imbued into medicine these understandings, justifying medicine’s proper use based on theological grounds. This theology is most clearly embedded in early encounters with Hippocratic medicine, which pushed Jewish and Christian thinkers to articulate perspectives that have penetrated these traditions from that time onward. As part of the larger argument of the book, it highlights how the Abrahamic traditions approached illness and medicine in order to better contextualize subsequent chapters that compare these traditional Western religious values to secular medicine.

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