Balm for Gilead: Meditations on Spirituality and the Healing Arts / Edition 2

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The relationship between spirituality and health care has been much discussed in recent years--and Daniel Sulmasy, M.D., is leading the wave. His 1997 book with Paulist, The Healer's Calling, has sold over 30,000 copies. And the fact that more and more med schools are teaching courses not just on bioethics but on religion and medicine suggests that this wave is growing. Sulmasy's spring 2006 volume with Georgetown, The Rebirth of the Clinic, is a textbook on spirituality and health care. This book is different: it is a work of spirituality, a series of meditations, of inspiration, aimed at health care professionals and all those involved in the care of the sick and dying. Like a Swiss lake, it is clear and deep. Sulmasy draws from philosophical and theological sources--specifically, Hebrew and Christian scripture--to illuminate how the art of healing is integrally tied to a sense of the divine and our ultimate interconnectedness. For example, Sulmasy shows how the ancient wisdom of Sirach speaks to the significance of good health--while not turning health into a golden calf of obsession. And speaking of obsession, Sulmasy compares the prodigal son of the New Testament to the prodigal profession of health care--urging his colleagues to put their patients ahead of their own greed and financial gain. And then there is beauty. Sulmasy reminds readers of the beauty of all god's creation--and how that should always trump our cultural and professional attitudes toward obesity and disfigurement. As a Franciscan, Sulmasy does not shy away from his explicit Catholic Christian faith convictions. This may limit his audience. But at the same time, his certitude and his passion that health care must change, that it must recover a theological foundation of fundamental concern for the other, will speak clearly to committed Catholics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589011229
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 377,914
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel P. Sulmasy, OFM, MD is a Franciscan friar and the inaugural Clinton-Kilbride Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics, professor of divinity, and associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He received his AB and MD degrees from Cornell University and completed his residency, chief residency, and postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received his PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1995. His books include The Rebirth of the Clinic: An Introduction to Spirituality in Health Care, The Healer's Calling, and Methods in Medical Ethics. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics.

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Table of Contents


1. The Numinous, the Medical, and the Moral

2. Letter to a Young Intern

3. Catholic Christianity and the Meaning of Healing

4. Appearance and Morality

5. The Prodigal Profession

6. Aesculapion

7. The Man Born Blind

8. Beatitudes

9. The Blood of Christ

10. The Temple of the Holy Spirit

11. Death and the Immanence of Hope

12. The Communication of the Dead

Postscript: A Residency Graduation Prayer



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