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Faith, medicine and religion

EAHMH Biennual Conference

7 September 2021 – 10 September 2021, online

The European Association for the History of Medicine and Health (EAHMH) organises its biennial meeting this year in cooperation with the Research Group Cultural History since 1750 at KU Leuven.

Faith and religion are part and parcel of the field of medicine and of healing practices. For in times of illness, we are in need of faith. We might express our faith in those who aim to heal us as we recognize and trust their ability to do so. In some settings, both today and in the past, such faith takes on explicit spiritual and religious meanings. It is performed through rituals and shaped by belief systems, shared (or not) between patients, doctors and other caregivers. In other settings, it is the belief in science or other concepts of medicine that drives patients’, caregivers’ and scientists’ search for cures and well-being. Moreover, outside the biomedical domain, hope for improvement drives the search for alternative modes of healing and self-healing, practices often strongly imbued with faith, rituals and conversion narratives. The 2021 EAHMH conference places these questions of trust, belief, religion, hope and devotion centre stage in the history of medicine and health.

More information on the KU Leuven website.