For the Cure of the Soul: Basil the Great's Perspectives on Medicine
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Much has changed in healthcare since St. Basil the Great founded the first hospital in 373 AD. Still, whether patient or healthcare worker, there is much one can learn from St. Basil and his teachings about how healthcare ought to find its proper place in the Christian life. This thesis aims to analyze the surviving documentation of Basil’s commentary on healthcare while illustrating how Basil implemented these beliefs into his own ministry. The first chapter is a survey of the Basileias, Basil’s hospital, which will provide context to the following work by depicting the ultimate manifestation of his teachings about healthcare. The second chapter is an exploration of Basil’s education and formation as well as his primary teachings as an abbot, bishop, and social leader. Finally, the third chapter provides an in-depth analysis of Basil’s beliefs about the practice and purpose of medical care when conducted alongside Christian virtue.