Health Care as Vocation? Practicing Faithfully in an Age of Disenchantment
In his 1917 lecture "Science as a Vocation," Max Weber challenged current and aspiring scholars to abandon any pretense that science (Wissenschaft) bears within itself any meaning. In a disenchanted age, he argued, science could at best offer "knowledge of the techniques whereby we can control life.. through calculation," and any meaning or moral direction to scientific research-including religious meaning-must be imposed on it from without. Weber presciently anticipated that many present-day health care practitioners would struggle to find meaning for their work within complex "state-capitalist" health care systems, along with predictable quasi-religious responses. But how are Christian practitioners to practice faithfully in a disenchanted age? The authors of this special issue lean deeply into the loci of Christian theology and Christian practice, some challenging the views of the body and of nature that informed Weber's theory of disenchantment, and all offering resources and paths by which practitioners might "look the fate of the age full in the face" with courage and wisdom.
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