Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints and Healing in the Modern World
Beginning with her experience, as a hematologist, in a case of leukemia that was applied as a miracle for the cause of Canada’s first saint, Duffin will trace her work, as a historian, in the canonization files of the Vatican. She examined more than 1400 miracles used for 400 canonizations from the late 16thC to 2000. To her surprise, almost all (>96%) were healings of physical illness for which up-to-date medicine had also been used. The study generated insights into the use of the Vatican archives as a source for medical history, and it lead her to a reappreciation of the parallels between religion and medicine.
Jacalyn Duffin, MD, PhD is a hematologist and historian who has occupied the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen’s University since 1988. A former president of both the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, she is the author of eight books and many articles, holds several awards, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Her research focuses on disease, technology, religion, and health policy.
Ekaterina Lomperis is a PhD candidate in Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her dissertation explores the development of Christian religious understandings of illness, medicine, and healing in the early modern era. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for Humanities, Princeton’s Center for Theological Inquiry, and the Sixteenth Century Society. She is a co-author of Medicine and Religion: Texts and Contexts, to be published this year by the Johns Hopkins University Press.