Leprosy In Medieval And Islamic Societies

1001 words - 4 pages

Might also be helpful for religious studies even though its a history paperSecular medicine and its attitudes towards leprosy in medieval Christian and Islamic communities wereinfluenced by social and religious traditions. Lack of real medical knowledge allowed these influences to affect theunderstanding and treatment of disease, as well as the status of the leper in society. Medieval views of leprosy inChristian and Islamic societies illustrated these ideas. Despite their different cultures and religions, there were somesimilar and analogous trains of thought in the understanding of this disease, but different attitudes prevailed as well.Treatment and understanding of leprosy in European society reflected many Christian ideas. Fear of contagionand the unpleasant sight of the disease's symptoms led to the practice of separating the leper from the rest of society(Palmer, p.80). This practice also reflected the biblical idea of the leper found in Leviticus, which calls for the 'unclean'leper to be cut off completely from society. In some areas priests performed Levitical rituals of separating the leper fromsociety (Palmer, p.81). Lepers had their own special hospitals and churches outside of town and city walls, and had todress in special garb identifying their affliction. Leper hospitals were under civic control, but religious influencemanifested itself in these institutions. At a hospital in Verona, Italy, statutes required incoming patients confess to thehospital chaplain to gain admission (Palmer, p.85). Lepers could lose legal rights in some areas; being considered alreadydead, their wives could remarry and they could lose control of their will (Palmer, p.81).Ideas as to the cause and treatment differed, but there were two main conflicting themes regarding the causefound in medieval Christian society. One idea of the cause of leprosy was sin. Sin in this case especially meant lechery.Many physicians accepted the idea that leprosy was God's punishment for sexual excess, and described lepers as sexuallydepraved. Leprosy was though to be spread venereally (Palmer, p.82). However, another idea of leprosy conflicted withthe sinner scenario. The other idea regarded lepers as being singled out by God to suffer in their earthly life, redeemingtheir sins for the afterlife (Palmer, p.84). Again, biblical precedent explained this view with the story of Lazarus and therich man: Sufferings in this world were compensated for in the next. (Luke 16: 19-25, as reprinted in Palmer, p.84). Thetreatment lepers obtained often depended largely on their faith either in medicine or religion. The Christian churchadvocated righteous living including vows, pilgrimages, processions, and charity work to prevent acquiring the disease.This emphasized the importance the church placed on healing the soul over the body (Siraisi, p.8). For those alreadyafflicted, praying for forgiveness and acts of piety offered possibility of a cure. The most popular religious...

Find Another Essay On Leprosy in Medieval and Islamic Societies

Communication and Culture in Today's Modern Societies

1789 words - 7 pages In today’s modern societies there are a diverse range of many cultures and subcultures, all with differing values, beliefs and traditions. Within this large diversity, the one culture that dominates is that of the western society, with its strong views and focus on economic development, consumption and production. Wolfgang Sachs (2010, pg. xviii) explains that “across the world hopes for the future are fixed on the rich man’s patterns of

Medicine and Sanitation in Medieval Towns.

2068 words - 8 pages town authorities became concerned to divert to other sources - and sometimes water bearers. These porters of water, whether from conduits or a local river, offered a fetching service for a fee or on a contractual basis.Street cleaning, paving, and garbage disposal were likewise matters primarily for individual householders. Apart from kitchen waste and the contents of chamber-pots, there were various others sources of rubbish in medieval towns

Chastity and Remarriage: Widows in Medieval England

1659 words - 7 pages happens when they are no longer their father’s daughter but another man’s wife? And what happens when that man dies and the women has to face society under the title of a widow? What does her role in society become then and what is her title? What is expected of the widow? In certain medieval societies when a woman’s husband died she had zero rights in property and homely matters and she in order to survive in society she had to begin anew and join

Crime and Punishment in Medieval Europe

1212 words - 5 pages Lesson chosen: The lesson is situated in the fourth week, and is the eleventh and second last lesson in the unit outline. Lesson aims in relation to Content Focus: The aim of this lesson will be to develop students understanding of crime and punishment in Medieval Europe. As outlined in AUSVELS, this will include investigating different kinds of crime and punishment utilised and the ways the nature of crime and punishment has either stayed the

Change in Medieval and Renaissance Paintings

1357 words - 5 pages Change in Medieval and Renaissance Paintings Medieval and Renaissance paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries are a great example of how art gradually changes over time. Although the paintings and artists will reiterate certain aspects in later art, they also change many aspects of the same styling. One can notice differences in the hues of color, tone, layout or arrangement of the design & subject matter, perspective, and even the

Church, Money and Power in Medieval Times

965 words - 4 pages and wars was to conjure up an enemy that would unite the populace around a cause. That cause in medieval times was witches. The church would take and torture women until they confessed to witchcraft. Then the women would be burned at the stake. This created quite a spectacle that served to distract the serfs. The common people wouldn't rise up against the church or state because they were being whipped into hysterical frenzies over witches

Islamic Law and Human Trafficking in Saudi Arabia

2205 words - 9 pages attribute this to the country’s legal system. Saudi Arabia is ruled under a system of Sharia, a body of Islamic law and a legal framework within which the public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Islam. This legal system has attracted strong criticism from human rights groups over criminal law punishments, the societal position of women, and the prevalence of both labor and sex trafficking

Describe the religious beliefs and practices in pre-Islamic Arabia.

859 words - 3 pages 'temple) the centre of pre-Islamic religious worship.The majority of Arabs did not belong to any formal religion but believed in a combination of supernatural forces, some of which they identified as spirits and others as Gods. This is known as Bedouin polytheism. The spirits were believed to inhabit natural objects such as rocks and trees and to have influence of human lives, whereas the gods were often identified with natural phenomena such as the

The Influence and Role of the Islamic Tradition in Turkey

2574 words - 10 pages of church and state has remained relatively intact. Even with this increase of fundamentalist Islam, the wide majority of Muslims in Turkey are moderate and tolerant. They have adapted to modern life and value Islam for its moral and spiritual messages. Islam is a guide for right living and ethical conduct rather than a political system. Turkey constantly struggles to balance Islamic life with a secular government. Although the government wants

Islamic Women and the Gender Roles in Muslim Culture

1883 words - 8 pages and are still coping with women and minorities being disadvantaged in many aspects of everyday life, we continue to criticize how “we think” Muslim women are treated--failing to realize our lack of education in the matter. When most people think of Islamic women they think of the multiple stereotypes that have been fed to us by the media. We are constantly shown the message that Muslim women are treated poorly on TV, radio, movies, magazines

Changes and Innovations in Japanese Literature in the Medieval Era

982 words - 4 pages presence of Buddhism in literature of medieval Japan, not be a critique on the plausibility of it as a religion. So, Buddhism shows up in anywhere from the lines of poetry where loneliness is expressed, the poet sealing himself in seclusion and trying to follow the path, yet failing to do so, to the prose of folktales. The Uji Shui and Hojoki in particular embody the teachings of Buddhism coupled with traditional storytelling in an attempt to

Similar Essays

Woman's Treatment In Islamic And Christian Societies

2043 words - 8 pages an Islamic society treats women and how a Christian society does, one must generalize because first because they don't exists and second because there are many different views within the society itself.Many see the Islamic head covering as a sign of oppression, but really it's anything but that. A woman has the religious right not to wear a head scarf, it's her own choice. Unfortunately, women in Islamic societies now a day don't really have a

Islamic Science In The Medieval Era

2566 words - 10 pages Europe in 1453 after the fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Turks, thereby reviving the struggling European scientific fields (Bunch 93). This essay will show that the medieval period was not a so-called “dark age” because of scientific innovation in the Islamic world, and is only referred to as such because of the popular bias in the West of focusing on Europe. In order to make this clear, firstly, two objections to this proposition will be

Social And Economic Effects Of The Plague On Medieval Islam Societies

1379 words - 6 pages Islamic societies, some to the point of no return. The Black Death and subsequent medieval plagues devastated Islamic societies. The Muslim world was hit harder more than most European societies due to the recurrence of plague epidemics in the Islamic world up until the 19th century. This continual resurgence of deadly disease triggered a collapse in Muslim societies that was never truly recovered from. The resulting economic and social changes debatably assisted Europe in surpassing the Islamic world's previous superiority in many subjects.

Women And Social Constraints In Islamic Society

3489 words - 14 pages Women and Social Constraints in Islamic Society He wakes up in the morning— Does his teeth, bite to eat, and he’s rolling— Never change a thing, the week ends, and week begins— And all the little ants are marching, red and black antennas waving— They all do it the same, they all do it the same way. The philosopher Kempis noted, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you