Orthodoxy and Medicine

  1. Lemma
  2. Православие и медицина
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 06-07-2018
  7. Филарет, Митрополит Минский и Слуцкий [Author]. Православие и медицина
  8. Pravmir.Ru
  9. Russian Orthodoxy - Orthodox doctors - doctor - resurrection - fasting - death - psychology - Christian anthropology - medicine
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Филарет, Митрополит Минский и Слуцкий (2012). Православие и медицина.<em> Pravmir.Ru</em>. Retrieved from: <a href="http://www.pravmir.ru/pravoslavie-i-meditsina/">http://www.pravmir.ru/pravoslavie-i-meditsina/</a> </p>
    1. This is a speech by the Metropolitain bishop of Minsk and Slutsk Filaret upon receiving an honorary doctorate from Grodno State Medical University. Fr Filaret points out that medicine focuses on people suffering from diseases. Medicine also works with the psychological health of patients, as does religion. Today’s medicine sees health as a whole – the unity of body and soul. Therefore medical treatment shouldn’t focus on isolated health issues of patients. In the Old Testament, diseases occur as punishment for sins. God can also heal a person if he or she turns to God.

      The Old Testament does not dwell much on medicine but it has a respectful attitude to the medical profession and encourages people to seek medical help from doctors. In the New Testament disease is, on the one hand, seen as an outcome of sins but it can, on the other hand, be a test of faith as well. Christianity shows people that what they accept as normal life is actually an unnatural sinful state after the Fall. Diseases are in fact part of the punishment for the primordial sin of Adam end Eve. Therefore diseases occur not only from personal sins but also as consequence of the sins of the first people on Earth.

      In Christianity, death is the final disease. God’s plan, however, was different. He wanted people to live eternally. The wish of eternal life is the essence of Christian anthropology. Humans in Christianity are made to attain spiritual perfection and eternal harmony with God. This plan was ruined by the Fall that brought death with it.

      Christianity sees body and soul as interconnected, soul as part of the body and body as organ of the soul. The Church believes that all dead will resurrect in their own bodies. Christianity, however, does not seek soul-body harmony, as do other religions. In Christianity disease is a way to reveal inner strength and grow spiritually. At the same time the Church never criticized seeking medical aid from doctors. The Church has always wanted to stress that diseases come not only because of bodily disorder. Fr Filaret believes that doctors that are practicing Christians have a broader outlook on humans than secular doctors as they have the perspective of eternal life after death. Christian doctors know that any disease is a signal that encourages the patient to lead a more spiritual life. They also understand that healing solely bodily disorders is not enough for true healing.

      Fasting in Christianity is not some sort of diet but an act and practice of mercy and compassion. One should share food with others when fasting. Disease is also a way to extract a person from society and give him/her a chance to look at his/her life critically.