Conference: The European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, Sept 7-10

The European Association for the History of Medicine and Health looks forward to welcoming you at its biennial meeting, in an online format this time, organized in cooperation with the Research Group Cultural History since 1750 at KU Leuven.

Between September 7 and 10, scholars working in different fields will explore and discuss the theme of ‘Faith, Medicine and Religion’ in a historical perspective.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this conference will convene online.

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.

The EAHMH, established in 1989, aims to foster research and the international exchange of views on all issues concerning health and medicine in Europe and their connections with the extra-European world. The history of health, medicine and religion constitutes one of the main research topics of the KU Leuven Research Group Cultural History since 1750, which will host the online conference. Situated in Belgium, KU Leuven is the oldest university in the Low Countries, founded in 1425. As a leading European research university, it accommodates 50,000 students and offers degree programmes at campuses in 11 Belgian cities

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