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Health Care and the Rise of Christianity Paperback – February 1, 1999
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From the Back Cover
--Carole R. Fontaine, Professor of Hebrew Scriptures, Andover Newton Theological School
"In Health Care and the Rise of Christianity Avalos helpfully turns our attention to the care of bodies as fundamental to the growth and expansion of early Christianity. Response to basic issues--such as cost, access to care, and perceived efficacy--helped to fashion an early Christian system of health care that was distinct from contemporary approaches. Avalos raises eminently relevant questions about the role of ideas and practices of health care in the attractiveness of new religious movements, both historically and today."
--Nancy L. Eiesland, Sociology of Religion, Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, Ga. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Healing temples and shrines were the results of public demand. Healing movements came when a city was in needed healing. Archaeology indicates that shrines flourished after a major outbreaks, plagues, army occupations, or rapid urbanization. Once established healing movements gained a foothold in the community and were a principle factor in attracting new converts.
After comparing the findings in the Greco-Roman, Judaic, and the Qumran communities Avalos indicated that ancient medical practice was complex. The polytheistic contexts gave the patient freedom to choose their own healing god, angels, or spirits. The various rituals, amulets, incantations, and healers made a "trip to the doctor" quite complicated. The patient had to travel to temples, which were usually located on a high hill, far away city, or dark side of town. The patient would also have to wait until certain seasons when the god would heal or the physician/priest was at the temple. Those who were sick needed healing to be restored to the community.Read more ›
The real intention of the author is stated few lines before the proclamation of the thesis: "The ideas of health care reflected in early Christianity constitute a system that was an important factor in the rise of Christianity itself." Which basically means that the first Christians (starting from Christ himself) used to perform health care activities only with the intention of converting people.
Here is the conclusion of the book: "Far from being a marginal interest, heath care was part of the core of it's mission and strategy for gaining converts to this Jewish sect".
There's no charity.