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Week 3

Medical Networks

There are three different (and short) readings in this selection:

1.    The Care of the Sick at the Monastery of the Vivarium.

2.    A selection from The Rule of St. Benedict.

3.    A Monastic Defense of Medicine Against Rigorist Critics. This one is a little longer, but it is not difficult and you are smart.

After reading all three, compose a response to one of these questions. In your answer, do not use the word “faith” at all. That word is being used far too frequently, so it is beginning to lose meaning. Therefore, challenge yourself to find other words.

1.     Identify and evaluate the way these authors apply medical language to the monastic experience? Is medical language only used when people are sick? Cite directly from the primary source to support your response.  

2.    Identify and analyze the opportunity that the sick provide within the monastery for the healthy monks. Cite directly from the primary source to support your response.

3.    Identify and evaluate the practice of medicine in the monastic environment. After the author begins with the (standard) acknowledgement that God is cause and cure, what models does the author then reference in the defence of the practice. Cite directly from the primary source to support your response.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing

Hildegard’s Causes and Cures consists of more than three hundred chapters that describe etiology of disease, human sexuality, gender, physiology and human psychology (which is not an academic discipline in the 11th century!). For your homework:

1.    Contextualize: Consider the vocabulary that Hildegard uses to explain or describe the female body; what does her language suggest to you about her worldview or her social location?

2.    Analyze: Offer in no more than two hundred words an analysis of the medical and scientific relationships between the human microcosm and the universal macrocosm in Hildegard’s writing on female health and cosmology.

Evaluate: What does Hildegard ‘bring to the table’ for women and female health that you have never considered before?

Crusade Medicine

The author describes the Hospitaller system: ascetic, pious laypeople who live according to a monastic rule, but are not monks. In all systems there is an element of corruption.

1.    Why should care-providers care about corruption in healthcare systems?

2.    What should care-providers do to tackle problems of corruption?

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