An interesting article discusses how healing and caring for the sick wasn’t as “dark” during the Dark Ages as people may think. From the article:
People living in Europe during early Medieval times (400-1200 A.D.) actually had a progressive view of illness because disease was so common and out in the open, according to the research presented at a recent historical conference. Instead of being isolated or shunned, the sick were integrated into society and taken care of by the community, the evidence suggests.
The article goes on to contrast this attitude with today where disease is treated much differently. Notice the word that the article uses in the quote above to describe the attitude back then – “progressive”. Perhaps acceptance of illness in the course of human life isn’t “progressive” but rather “traditional” – something that modern day people can learn from.
Another part of the article has this to say:
Some of the most forward-thinking science in the Dark Ages was actually going on in monasteries, where monks trying to understand all of God’s works – including the mysteries of the body – toiled with healing methods.
Monasteries were very important during this time and preserved learning through these years. I find this very interesting since the Dark Ages label was a mischaracterization of the centuries following the fall of Rome. Unfortunately we might still see remnants in mainstream consciousness that suggest nothing good came about in Europe for perhaps a millennium or more.