How Animism, Organized Religion, and Science Influences Medicine in Book

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“Magic, Miracles, And Medicine” takes readers on a journey from ancient times through many cultures to show mankind’s many different views and conceptions of the healing arts

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Magic. Miracles. Medicine. Which one is really capable of curing?
Before the age of modern medicine, mankind relied on different ways of curing sickness. Author Zachary B. Friedenberg meticulously probed into the truth about enchantment, religion, and science as the book takes the reader on a journey from ancient times through many cultures to observe the different practices of relieving suffering. Discover the chaos of medical cures involving Magic, Miracles, And Medicine and how the age of science triumphed when it proved its effectivity in curing disease.

Mankind, despite the light of science now backed by the sanitized views of major religions and sects, still have the option to try the whole gamut of superstitious practices, “religious” methods like those practiced in santería, witchcraft, magic, new age homeopathy, and quackery when all medical options have been found to be ineffective. This harks back to the dark centuries when religion and magic ruled the world, and science itself was a semi-superstitious craft lacking the confidence and methods to cure disease. Despite all the alternatives of modern medicine, the old instinct to appeal to a higher power and reject the establishment that gave the negative diagnosis as evil is still around to obscure medical issues.

Still, Friedenberg did not totally reject all the old ways of healing that he had found to have some value in the path towards the advent of modern medical science and the practice thereof. By picking out a sequence of cures found throughout history (from cabbage as an all-around Roman cure for many diseases to Church exorcisms and flagellations), the author made the most enlightened sense in expanding on the idea of how mankind, by virtue of various hit and miss cures, was able to develop a depth of insight and therefore expertise that translated to progress in the field. Ultimately, Friedenberg blessed his readers with how he had illuminated the continuity that led to the advent of medicine as it is known today.

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About the Author
Zachary Friedenberg has lived a varied and adventurous life. After graduating from medical school, he served in World War II as a surgeon in an advanced field hospital in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany and participated in three D-day landings. After his military experience, he joined the staff of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he attained the rank of full professor. His interests were teaching and research. Among other accomplishments, he became a scuba diver and filmed undersea life throughout the world and was also a world traveler, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. He has published numerous books on medical history, including The Doctor in Colonial America, Medicine Under Sail, and Hospital at War—which described his experiences in a field hospital just behind the front. His last book was The History of Surgery.

Magic, Miracles, And Medicine * Zachary B. Friedenberg, MD
Publication Date: November 19, 2010
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 174 pages; 978-1-4535-8031-8
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 174 pages; 978-1-4535-8032-5
eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4535-8033-2

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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