Did the Church Help or Hinder the Progress of Medicine in the Middle Ages?Did the Church Help or Hinder the Progress of Medicine in the Middle Ages?

Topics: Middle Ages, Doctor, 13th century Pages: 3 (759 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Did the church help or hinder the progress of medicine in the middle Ages?

In this essay I will be looking at the different aspects of medicine in the Middle Ages and accessing how the church helped or hindered their development. As there was a lot of unrest at the start of the middle Ages the church is important because it preserved a lot of things. It also provided a way of life, so it was very influential.

The Church did not encourage the development of new medical ideas, it was not in their interest. When Roger Bacon (a thirteenth century priest) he suggested that a new approach to medicine was needed he said that doctors should their own original research instead of learning from the books of ancient writers such as Galen. Church leaders put him in prison for heresy there is an engraving showing him smuggling his work out of prison.

The church banned dissection for a time, however from 1492 the pope allowed dissection as long as the body was that of a criminal. The first medical school was set up in Salerno in 900 AD by the church. By the Montpellier in France was the most famous but there was a number of others at these school students listened to lectures where the teachers read out passages from the work of Galen and other ancient writers. The church did provide some training for doctors as they gave money to the universities. Without this money, the universities would not have been able to survive. Students would be able to listen to a lecturer talk about the work of Galen. In France, the church allowed the students to dissect one body a year for research. However, the doctor would only watch as the dissection was done.

The church taught that Galen’s ideas were correct so that idea that dissection could be used to check his ideas did not cross anyone’s mind. Dissection was used to illustrate Galen’s ideas about the body.

The church had taught different types of cure for illness. Thousands of people flocked to Canterbury because...
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