The Influence of Religion on the Development of Medicine in the Middle Ages

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The Influence of Religion on the Development of Medicine in the Middle Ages

After the decline of the Roman Empire the two religions of Islam and

Christianity took control over the development and progress of

medicine. This period of time lasting from 1000AD till 1500AD was

named the Middle Ages .During this time Islam and Christianity

influenced medicine in both positive and negative ways in many areas

of medicine; which will be analysed through this essay.

The downfall of the roman empire had a dramatic affect on Europe and

Asia the majority of their engineering and medical breakthroughs were

lost forever. However some of their books were rescued from the ruins.

The majority of these books were located in Europe in monasteries were

they were translated by monks. These monks were the main contributors

to the medical progress from a Christianity perspective.

They read the books of Galen and Hippocrates and approved of their

theories saying they fitted in with their beliefs about god. The

acknowledgement and acceptation of Glens and Hippocrates theories was

a highly influential step in the middle ages as it meant that medical

knowledge could no longer go backwards in terms of knowledge.

Although many spiritual beliefs did come back as influenced by the


The church in the middle ages had most of the power and would do

anything to keep people under control and under their power. The

church brought back the theories that it was god who made you ill

because he is upset of it was the devil. Astronomy was also strong in

Europe during this time and theories about planet alignments and

movement became convincing theories to ...

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...nal hygiene and knew

many herbal remedies which were more effective than the superstitious

treatments going on in western Europe. The only restriction was the

fact that dissections were forbidden so knowledge of anatomy didn't


As shown throughout the essay both religions of Islam and Christianity

had both positive and negative effects on medical development. Islam

had more of a positive influence due to the fact they had more

knowledge and dint go back to spiritual theories. The strong beliefs

in god asserted by the catholic church restricted progression although

the Koran did hold the Islamic doctors back just not as influentially.

On the whole both religions helped in the treating and teaching of

medical theories. Although neither religions provided for those who

wanted to look for new theories/ideas.
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