Close
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

Can No Physician Be Found?


The Influence of Religion on Medical Pluralism in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel


Can No Physician be Found analyzes how religion, as an expression of a universal order, is applied to the medical practices in the cultures of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel. The comparative approach sheds light on how religious concepts shaped not only the particular medical identity of each society, but also how they can simultaneously participate in a broader medical culture spanning the ancient Near East.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0248-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Nov 20,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 170
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0248-4
$126.00

Can No Physician be Found analyzes how religion, as an expression of a universal order, applied to the medical practices in the cultures of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel. The comparative approach sheds light on how religious concepts shaped not only the particular medical identity of each society, but also how they can simultaneously participate in a broader medical culture spanning the ancient Near East.

A feature common to all three cultures is the presence of two types of healers. Scholars of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia distinguish them as scientific (physician) or magical (priest) whereas biblical scholarship sees healing in connection with prophets and priests as simply miraculous. By understanding the role of religion, we can see that these ancient societies did not operate under the science/magic dichotomy but rather used the multiplicity of healers as variations within a single healing strategy based upon the ideas of illness as a divine message and healing as a method of community cohesion. One type of healer focused on the message as a form of vertical communication with the deities, maintaining a relationship between humans and the divine. The other class of healers concentrated on the horizontal mode of communication, allowing people within the community to understand the message behind the illness as well as the potential resolution to such problems in the community.

Can No Physician be Found analyzes how religion, as an expression of a universal order, applied to the medical practices in the cultures of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel. The comparative approach sheds light on how religious concepts shaped not only the particular medical identity of each society, but also how they can simultaneously participate in a broader medical culture spanning the ancient Near East.

A feature common to all three cultures is the presence of two types of healers. Scholars of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia distinguish them as scientific (physician) or magical (priest) whereas biblical scholarship sees healing in connection with prophets and priests as simply miraculous. By understanding the role of religion, we can see that these ancient societies did not operate under the science/magic dichotomy but rather used the multiplicity of healers as variations within a single healing strategy based upon the ideas of illness as a divine message and healing as a method of community cohesion. One type of healer focused on the message as a form of vertical communication with the deities, maintaining a relationship between humans and the divine. The other class of healers concentrated on the horizontal mode of communication, allowing people within the community to understand the message behind the illness as well as the potential resolution to such problems in the community.

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Laura Zucconi

Laura M. Zucconi is an Assistant Professor at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She holds a Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of California, San Diego. She has published numerous articles on the relationship between religion and medicine in the Ancient Near East.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Acknowledgments (page 7)
  • Abbreviations (page 9)
  • Introduction (page 11)
  • Egyptian Healing (page 25)
    • Egyptian World System (page 28)
    • Egyptian Healers (page 46)
    • Conclusion (page 62)
  • Mesopotamian Healing (page 65)
    • Mesopotamian World System (page 69)
    • Mesopotamian Healers (page 92)
    • Conclusion (page 103)
  • Healing in the Hebrew Bible (page 105)
    • World System in the Hebrew Bible (page 107)
    • Healers in the Hebrew Bible (page 123)
    • Conclusion (page 136)
  • Ancient Near Eastern Supra- and Subcultures (page 139)
  • Bibliography (page 149)
  • Index (page 165)
Customers who bought this item also bought

Facing an Empire

Hirbemerdon Tepe and the Upper Tigris Region during the Early Iron Age and Neo-Assyrian Period
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0146-3
Recent archaeological discoveries within the Upper Tigris region in Southeastern Turkey offer a unique opportunity to understand the dynamics of the Assyrian Empire borderlands. Within a few years most of the region will be irreversibly submerged, due to the construction of the Ilisu dam, the biggest hydroelectric power plant project in Turkey. It is of paramount importance to understand and record as much data as possible about the local communities and the foreign connections that flowered in this area.
$138.00

"As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah …": The Tell en-Nasbeh Excavations after 85 Years

ISBN: 978-1-4632-0416-7
Collected essays on aspects of daily life at the Israelite site of Tell en-Nasbeh (biblical Mizpah of Benjamin). These include: trade and economy, death and burial, metals, cooking, water management, curation of the site’s materials, and a site bibliography.
$164.00

Alphabet Scribes in the Land of Cuneiform

Sēpiru Professionals in Mesopotamia in the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0635-2
This book treats the alphabet scribes in Mesopotamia in the Late Babylonian period (6th-5th centuries BCE). Bloch defends the understanding of the term sēpiru as a designation of alphabet scribes, discusses the functions of sēpiru professionals in Babylonia, and discusses their ethnic origins, with special attention to the participation of Judeans in Babylonia in this profession. The monograph includes translations of over 100 Late Babylonian economic, legal, and administrative documents.
$165.00

Death and Burial in Iron Age Israel, Aram, and Phoenicia

ISBN: 978-1-4632-0640-6
Death and Burial uses archaeological and textual evidence to examine death and burial in Iron Age Israel and Aram. Despite dramatic differences in the religious systems of these peoples, this monograph demonstrates striking connections between their basic material and psychological frameworks for dealing with death.
$182.00