Studying medical practices allows us to see how cultural worldviews shape the understanding of the body. Within the study of medical practices, historians find an intersection of concepts of science, religion, and social status. Select three different medical traditions or concepts from this module’s content. Compare and contrast these medical practices by selecting a common theme: religious understanding, political or legal authority, scientific knowledge, or economic influences. What do these medical theories have in common, and what do they tell us about the historical cultures that relied upon them for good health?
You may consider herbal medicines, the understanding (or misunderstanding) of transmitting illness, fear of religious causes, or economic and political influences in enhancing or containing medical knowledge. Ultimately, what do these medical traditions tell us about these historical cultures?