Robert Jaggs-Fowler offers a radical proposal for the relationship between medicine and religion
GP and author, Robert Jaggs-Fowler brings us The Healing Enigma, a fascinating exploration of the relationship between the physician and the priest, and a radical proposal on the future of the relationship between medicine and religion.
Despite a growing body of scientific evidence indicating the value of spirituality, the 20th century medical profession within the Western world has placed religion at arm’s length, effectively excluding such discussion from the medical consultation. “There is currently no book on the market that addresses this issue for modern times,” explains Robert. “The concept of the physician-priest is an ancient one existing pre-Christianity, but health evidence indicates that the concept is a powerful one even for today.”
Referring to both primary and secondary sources within theological, medical, legal, historic and philosophical literature, Robert puts forward an argument in support of a 21st century role for the physician-priest. He argues that if the physician can exercise the role of priest in addition to the medical role, they can thereby truly minister to the whole person in terms of mind, body and soul. With consideration of modern NHS funding streams, Robert suggests a radical proposal whereby the Church of England and medical educational institutions might combine to offer dual theological and medical training. “The result would establish a new breed of professional person ideally positioned in respect to the care of the elderly and those with terminal illness. This would not only assist with the provision of ‘whole-person’ care, but also allows the Church to firmly re-establish itself in the 21st century within its Christian healing tradition,” concludes Robert.
Robert Jaggs-Fowler is an ordinand, GP, writer and poet living in Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire. He has degrees in medicine, law and theology and is the author of several books. Robert won the Lincoln Book Festival Prize for fiction on 2005 and the Fathom Prize for poetry in 2010.
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