The Problem of Pain: Medical, Mental, and Spiritual Aspects

Date recorded: 23 May 2016 | Speaker: Peter Imming | Event: ELF Science Network


Pain is central in medicine, pharmacy, and Christian faith. Much of medicine and drugs aims at alleviating pain. The cross of Christ, while accompanied by tremendous pain, is preached to contain the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor 1). One would think that this pain-related power is wielded successfully in apologetics. However, Christians regularly find themselves at the defensive end of a debate on the origin and meaning (is there any?) of pain. The talk presents the current medical pain model as a network reaction rather than the linear response to a trigger. The pain-relieving pharmacological mechanisms of analgesic substances will be explained. From there, the subjectiveness and qualia character of "pain" - which actually hamper the development of analgesic drugs - will be unfolded and finally be interpreted in Christian terms.