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Drug and Alcohol Addiction

(1,694 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Josef N.
[German Version] Substance addiction is the result of a process that begins with an isolated state of intoxication and, through the compulsion to reproduce this state, leads a person to dependency, loss of control, and self-destruction. Becoming addicted often presupposes a distressing situation in terms of somatic (pain), mental (relationship conflicts, loss of self-esteem, ¶ psychological illness) and/or social affliction (isolation), but can also be induced by the social environment or even accidentally (cf. the …


(1,154 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Josef N.
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Ethics Health is a normative concept denoting the physical, psychological, and mental state in which individuals ought to find themselves, so as to be able to cope positively with their situation. Thus, health may not be defined as an ideal condition, but always only as an individual's capacity to act independently. Therefore, health cannot be equated with the absence of sickness (Sickness and Healing), just as sickness does not merely mean the loss of health. Heal…

Pastoral Medical Care

(192 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Josef N.
[German Version] Pastoral medicine originated in the 19th century as a literary genre bringing together a variety of tendencies. Today its goal is convey scientific medical knowledge and reflect on it from the perspective of its relevance for pastoral care and the ethical assessment of moral questions. As a branch of practical theology, it focuses on borderline situations, especially at the beginning and end of life, along with questions of how to cope with sickness. From the practical standpoint, it aims to establish a cooperative ¶ relationship between pastoral care of the sick…

Sick, Care of the

(661 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Josef N.
[German Version] In light of the experience that sickness means a transitory or terminal incapacity to control one’s own situation, care of the sick has been an indispensable interpersonal activity for existential security. As an essential element of human survival strategy, it is prior to the healing arts: victims of disease must have their basic needs provided and stabilized (shelter and rest, appropriate food, provision for sanitation, bodily hygiene) to make them accessible to therapeutic interventi…

Health Education

(555 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Josef N.
[German Version] I. Kant ( Der Streit der Fakultäten, part 3, 1798; ET: The Conflict of the Faculties, 1979], Part 3, 1798) defined health as a circumstance beyond human control that transitions imperceptibly into sickness (Sickness and Healing) so that one can feel well and, nonetheless, already be sick. Only in retrospect on time already lived can one say that one was healthy. With a view to praxis, this implies that, as a fundamental medical concept, health defines the goal of medical treatment. However, it cannot produce the state to be attained, whic…


(7,696 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Josef N. | Lührmann, Dieter | Potter, Paul | Kottek, Samuel | Efron, John M. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. History – III. Medicine Today – IV. Bible – V. Medicine and Religion I. Terminology The word medicine dervies from Latin medicina, strictly speaking an adjective modifying ars but also used independently as a noun ( medicina, -ae, fem.); the phase means “the art of healing” and is thus the Latin equivalent of Greek τέχνη ἰατρική/ téchnē iatrikḗ. The term indicates that before medicine became the domain of a university faculty in the late Middle Ages, the profession was classed as an ars mechanica (rather than liberalis). The same root is used …


(8,720 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Mürmel, Heinz | Halm, Heinz | Fabry, Heinz-Josef | Avemarie, Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. General Suffering is a concept that needs to be approached constructively in comparative religious study as it takes fundamental negative human experiences to a comparative level. On this interpretive level, suffering is understood as one of the fundamental experiences of human life. What people experience as suffering depends on their particular interpretation of the world and hence on their religious system for interpreting the world. The point at which religi…