The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of 1800: Medicine as Cultural History

Friday, September 25, 2015 7:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Medicine dropper with a drop of a homeopathic remedy coming out and going into a small, brown glass bottle.
Homeopathy is a controversial form of alternative medicine. Some consider it a miracle, others a sham.

But where did it all start?

Alice Kuzniar, Professor of German and English at the University of Waterloo, is currently working on her fifth book, The Romantic Art of Homeopathy. In this year's Jacob-and-Wilhelm Grimm Lecture, she’ll review numerous ways in which homeopathy is a product of its time. Referencing German philosophers, poets, physicists, and physicians from around 1800, she’ll look at the pervasive notion in Romantic science of a “vital life force” and how it informed homeopathy’s concepts of healing and the infinitesimal dose.

For example, did you know that

  • most homeopathic single medications were devised by German physician Samuel Hahnemann around 1800?
  • he tested them exclusively on himself for 13 years?
  • Hahnemann rejected knowing what happened inside the body?
  • the homeopathic pharmacopeia lists herbs according not to what illnesses they cure but to the symptoms they produce on a healthy person?
  • he did not believe in naming a disease but claimed that illnesses were as diverse as clouds in the sky?

This talk is for anyone interested in mainstream or alternative medicine, general health, or European intellectual history. Come and learn about homeopathy’s creator and how the world he lived in affected its development.

Reception to follow.

Email or call (519) 888-4567 ext. 39267 for more information.

Alice Kuzniar's CV

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