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Book reviews >

Visited with great sickness

William Whyte reads an account of religion and the physician

Medicine and Religion: A historical introduction
Gary B. Ferngren
John Hopkins University Press £16
(978-1-4214-1216-0)
Church Times Bookshop £14.40 (Use code CT131 )

IMAGINE yourself in ancient Mesopotamia, some 5000 years ago or so. You fall ill, and go to see the local āšipu: a magician and an exorcist as well as a priest, whose job it is to diagnose your ailment. By prayer and divination, he ...

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