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Title: Religious directives of health, sickness and death : Church teachings on how to be well, how to be ill, and how to die in early modern England
Author: Elkins, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 3907
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2018
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In broad terms, this thesis is a study of what Protestant theologians in early modern England taught regarding the interdependence between physical health and spirituality. More precisely, it examines the specific and complex doctrines taught regarding health-related issues in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and evaluates the consistency of these messages over time. A component of the controversial Protestant-science hypothesis introduced in the early twentieth century is that advancements in science were driven by the Protestant ethic of needing to control nature and every aspect therein. This thesis challenges this notion. Within the context of health, sickness and death, the doctrine of providence evident in Protestant soteriology emphasised complete submission to God's sovereign will. Rather, this overriding doctrine negated the need to assume any control. Moreover, this thesis affirms that the directives theologians delivered governing physical health remained consistent across this span, despite radical changes taking place in medicine during the same period. This consistency shows the stability and strength of this message. Each chapter offers a comprehensive analysis on what Protestant theologians taught regarding the health of the body as well as the soul. The inclusion of more than one hundred seventy sermons and religious treatises by as many as one hundred twenty different authors spanning more than two hundred years laid a fertile groundwork for this study. The result of this work provides an extensive survey of theological teachings from these religious writers over a large span of time.
Supervisor: Pettegree, Andrew Sponsor: Brigham Young University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Reformation ; Reformation history ; Reformation studies ; Reformation medicine ; Reformation healthcare ; Health ; Sickness ; Death ; Wellness ; Eschatology ; Merton thesis ; Robert Merton ; Protestant-science hypothesis ; Scientific revolution ; Puritan ethic ; Protestant ethic ; Protestant Reformation ; Church of England ; Henry VIII ; William Perkins ; Thomas Becon ; Perkins, William ; Becon, Thomas ; William Bullein ; Bullein, William ; William Turner ; Turner, William ; Galen ; Galenus, Claudius ; Hippocrates ; Paraceulsus ; Salvation ; Suffering ; William Tyndale ; Tyndale, William ; Max Weber ; Charles Webster ; Keith Thomas ; Witchcraft ; Alexandra Walsham ; Metaphor ; How to die ; Ars moriendi ; Ars improvisa ; Sudden death ; Providence ; Religious history ; BT732.E6 ; Health--Religious aspects--Christianity--History of doctrines ; Disease--Religious aspects--Christianity--History of doctrines ; Death--Religious aspects--Christianity--History of doctrines ; Protestant churches--England--Doctrines--History--16th century ; Protestant churches--England--Doctrines--History--17th century ; Reformation--England