Health, Disease and Healing in Medieval Culture

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This book examines how medieval medical theories were derived from the teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It maintains that the mystical element was the most attractive branch of medical wisdom and shows how religious rites and observances like prayer and anointing were adapted to medical usage. But while for thinkers like Roger Bacon disease was a fall from grace, there was also a practical approach to illness. The book evaluates medieval recipes for drugs and more mundane notions of disease in the light of the findings of modern medicine. It shows for instance how the concept of flying venom relates to modern germ theory.