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Thursday, 26 April 2012

1.1 – Anorexic or Ascetic?

It has been reported that a ‘historically significant group of women exhibited a behavior pattern, similar in important ways to clinical description of modern-day sufferers of anorexia nervosa’.[1] With reference to the aforementioned gender gap, the vast majority of miracles of surviving on the Eucharist alone are exclusively experienced by women, (primarily adolescent girls), as are miracles in which unusual taste sensations accompany the Eucharist, and visions connected to food. According to the contemporary criteria for diagnosing anorexia nervosa, it is similarly revealed that the condition is characteristically far more prevalent among females than males, by a ratio of ten or even twenty to one.

1.0 – An Introduction to the Investigation into the Mental Health of Female Medieval Mystics


The concept of mental illness and psychological disorders is a relatively modern construct. While the advancement of medical and scientific investigation may afford the contemporary theologian a greater understanding of human behaviour and its interpretation, ‘the theologians of the early Christian era, not aware of mental illness as such, ascribed bizarre reactions to divine intervention’.[1] The Middle Ages were a time where ‘anything purely human was depreciated’, and everything was theologised. It was an era of divine explanation, ‘an era in which injury of limb, sickness of body and derangement of mind were correlated positively with demons’.[2] Therefore, when individuals ‘manifested religious delusions, the puzzling question that arose was, were they inspired by God or possessed by Satan?’[3]

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Religious Contradictions Surrounding the EDL

The past month has seen the media spotlight focus on the English Defence League as a result of its most recent bid to establish a pan-European anti-Jihad alliance in Aarhus, and last week’s arrests of five members of the North West Infidels, a splinter group of the EDL.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

War-Related Psychiatric Injury was Treated in Many Ways During WW1. How Effective Were These Methods?

The British Army was overwhelmed by the epidemic proportions of psychiatric breakdown during World War One (WW1). Soldiers were evacuated from fighting positions in their thousands, which caused a manpower crisis. ‘As early as 1917, it was recognised that war neuroses accounted for one-seventh of all personnel discharged for disabilities from the British Army…[and] emotional disorders were responsible for one-third of all discharges.’[1] Stemming the flow of ‘permanent ineffectives’ became of primary importance, and there was a concentrated drive to find effective treatments for war neuroses. Effective referred to the quickest possible return of soldiers to combat duties. However, ‘with the neurotic war casualty, to a much greater extent than with the private patient of peace-time, treatment [had] to be limited by practical possibilities,’[2] and treatment focused primarily on the removal of symptoms, rather than curing the root issues.