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Healthcare and Wellbeing: Ancient Paradigms and Modern Debates

The project includes features of ancient medicine and psychology such as: 

  • The focus on preventive medicine and life-style management rather than drugs or surgery;
  • Philosophical therapy as a 'preventive medicine' against psychological illness;
  • The idea that people can be expected to take responsibility for their own healthcare and the search for well-being, healthcare conceived in positive terms (and not just as avoiding illness);
  • Healthcare viewed 'holistically', locating human life in the context of nature.

Seminars, workshops and conferences have explored these themes, and established contact with specialists in modern healthcare and psychology. For more on these, visit the Centre Conferences page.

Healthcare and Wellbeing stems from the research interests of Professor Christopher Gill in ancient psychology and psychotherapy and Professor John Wilkins in ancient food, nutrition and the role of the doctor in antiquity. A shared focus of their work is Galen, the greatest medical writer in antiquity (2nd century AD).

They are currently planning an interdisciplinary project that will examine the possible significance of ancient ideas and methods for contemporary healthcare, in collaboration with specialists in contemporary medicine and psychology.

If you are interested in collaborating in this area, or have an interest in it, then contact the team