Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life)

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9781587431272: Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life)
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We live in an age of incredible medical technology, and with it, a great emphasis on health and well-being. We fully entrust the care of our bodies to the medical profession, often taking its solutions and judgments as gospel. But what role, if any, should our Christian faith play in all this?

In Reclaiming the Body, a physician and a theologian take a critical look at some of the assumptions we draw from the medical profession and explore what theology has to say about medicine, our bodies, our health, and the Body of Christ. The authors deal with such issues as suffering, caring for the sick, children and reproductive technologies, medicine and the poor, our obsession with physical perfection, and death and dying.

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About the Author:

Joel Shuman (Ph.D., Duke University) teaches moral theology at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is a frequent public speaker, the author of numerous articles about theology and medicine, and coauthor of Heal Thyself: Spirituality, Medicine, and the Distortion of Christianity.

Brian Volck, M.D., is a pediatrician. He teaches an elective on literature and medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and his essays, narrative nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in such publications as DoubleTake, America, and St. Anthony Messenger.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Shuman, an ethicist, and Volck, a pediatrician, are on a mission to persuade Christians to stop worshiping the medical establishment and to start "using medicine as if God mattered." It is easy to put medicine in the place that only God should occupy: "The medical project of controlling life and defeating death is attractive... because a denial of our own mortalities and a desire to be in control is very near the center of our own disordered desires." Christian theology, however, teaches that "because we come from God, belong to God, and are destined finally to return to God, we need not fight without restraint to control all the circumstances of our existence, or to preserve our lives as they near their end." As they develop this theme through literature, contemporary stories and theological reflection, the authors affirm the goodness of the human body, the importance of the church as the gathered body of Christ and the necessity of hospitality toward the world's helpless and suffering. Brilliantly reasoned and artfully written, this quotable book should reach well beyond its obvious market of medical and spiritual caregivers to engage anyone concerned about human values in a technological age. (Feb.)
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Shuman, Joel; Volck, Brian M.D.
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Book Description Baker Pub Group February 2006, 2006. Paper Back. Condition: New. 'The grace that is the health of creatures can only be held in common,' writes Wendell Berry in What Are People For? 'In healing the scattered members come together. In health the flesh is graced, the holy enters the world.' Rather than approaching the complex topic of modern medicine from the standpoint of Christian ethics or endorsing an alternative Christian medical establishment, Joel Shuman (a professor of moral theology) and Brian Volck (a pediatrician) predicate their approach on the theological traditions of the church in the hope of establishing a working relationship between Christians and modern medicine. Shuman and Volck begin their discussion with a diagnosis: 'most North American Christians approach medicine without much consideration of its relation to their theological convictions.' Categorizing medicine amidst the New Testament's 'powers and principalities' (institutional entities from which we derive much good yet which have the capacity to entangle us), they set about rediscovering the many theological meanings of 'body,' interacting with the texts of Wendell Berry, Alexander Schmemann, John Howard Yoder, Aidan Kavanaugh, Elaine Scarry, Gregory of Nyssa, Stanley Hauerwas, and more. In the remaining chapters they address particular situations such as fertility treatment, healthcare in third world countries, and the ability to die well. While Reclaiming the Body offers no hard and fast solutions, it solidly reminds us to live as Christ's Body by serving one another (especially in sickness) for the health of all. Seller Inventory # 137603

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