The meaning of ‘spiritual’ as integral health: from hippocrates of Kos to the potamius of Lisbon

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This article aims to analyze how the category ‘spiritual’ used by Hippocrates of Kos can help with a better understanding of the influence and reception of Hippocratic medicine the Christian self-understanding as a religion of healing, especially from the Hippocratic influence in Potamius of Lisbon, and at the same time this Christian understanding contributes to the desacralization of medicine as a medical art. For this purpose, it will be analyzed the category pneuma in the Hippocratic naturalism, and within the debate between the medical schools, Pneumatics and Empirics, around the various methods of treatment to maintain the dynamization of pneuma. With this, it is intended, then, to identify different forms of reception of Hippocrates in Christianity associated with the different perceptions that one has of the writings of the physician of Kos. Such contextualization aims to help understand the process of spiritualization of pneuma that paved the way for the radicalization of the Pauline duality between body and soul, as well as to identify another understanding of pneuma linked to the conception of stoic sympatheia and the reading of the empiricists of Hippocratic Naturalism, both present in the Christian reading of the Corpus Hippocraticum. In this sense, this article will take as an example the work of Potamius of Lisbon (4th century), in order to identify an epistemological model of spirituality and health that could works as a kind of antidote to the tendency towards spiritualization of the pneuma, to accentuate its aspect of integrating, vitalizing and unifying body and soul in a pneuma dynamism, connecting the notion of restoring the health of nature with the notion of Christian redemption.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo848
Número de páginas22
Número de emissão9
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 13 set 2022

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