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A Practical Church Unity within Secular Hospitals

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image of Ecclesiology

Ecclesial unity among Christian physicians is jeopardized by the culture of secular medicine. The medical context, rather than being a neutral sphere, has increasingly become a context that cuts loose and reshapes church members into a secular ecclesia. This thesis is demonstrated through focus groups composed of Christian physician-residents within Harvard Medical School residency programs. The interviews describe how many Christian physicians are psychologically isolated and spiritually endangered because of compliance to secular expectations within academic teaching hospitals. In contrast, the key to undoing secular atomization stems from the nature of the church as a people gathered in the presence of Christ. Thus, the essay develops an ecclesiology that focuses on the manifestation of unity in its local relationships and embodied practices. Despite severe time constraints, Christian physicians have the opportunity to reconstitute a unified church within the secular by pursuing one another in love and offering tangible signs of solidarity.

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