Sacraments In The Hospital Analysis

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Geest, in his essay ‘Sacraments in the Hospital: Exploring the Magic and Religion of Recovery’ discusses, the magical and religious dimension of hospital work, which fills patients with hope for a future life and recreates people’s belief in biomedicine as ultimate truth, through a series of medical words and interventions (Geest, 2005). Relativize to the old dichotomist world view, which Geest believes to have hindered the anthropological understanding of clinical efficacy, he proposes that there is warm reality of human living in the cool abstractions of science (Redfield, 1948).

Controversy on Magic, Science and Religion
Malinowski’s definitions more or less captures the popular view on the three concepts. As described in his book, magic is a practical art and a symbolic ritual
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Such view can be applied not only to the supernatural, but also to science including ideas and explanations, since the taming of diversity and contradiction into one cognitive system takes place in both (Geest, 2005). Hence, the process of deriving explanations and emotional comfort from science can be seen as a secularized religious belief as well. Comparing sacraments to medical interventions, medicine becomes Christian virtues necessary to achieve spiritual health (Kraft, 2001).
Another common signature of religion and medical science is their opposition to death. Both of them can be seen as evidence of basic human orientation towards a hopeful future. Death denying in religion, more than a desire for endless life, is the result of thirst for justice (Bloch, 1986). Similarly, being sick and dying before one’s time raise doubts on moral order and meaning of life. Medicine, as a mean of life continuation, together with doctors participates in a religious drama to fulfill the patients’ hope (Geest, 2005).

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