Wednesday, August 29, 2007

James Tyler Kent

James Tyler Kent, M.D. (born in Woodhull, New York, 1849 - died Stevensville, Montana, 1916) was an American physician and significant contributor to homeopathic medicine.

Kent's work came after that of Samuel Hahnemann. He tested, or "proved" many new remedies not considered by Hahnemann, pioneered the use of highly potentized homeopathic remedies, and in 1897 published his repertory, the well-known Kent repertory, on which virtually all modern practise of homeopathy is based.

Kent was notable for denying the conventional germ theory of infectious disease:

'The microbe is not the cause of disease. We should not be carried away by these idle Allopathic dreams and vain imaginations but should correct the Vital Force' (Kent, 1926)

'The Bacterium is an innocent feller, and if he carries disease he carries the Simple Substance which causes disease, just as an elephant would.' (Kent, 1926)

Kent believed that illness had spiritual causes:

'You cannot divorce medicine and theology. Man exists all the way down from his innermost spiritual, to his outermost natural.' (Kent, 1926)

and in the USA, homeopathy came to be associated closely with Swedenborgianism, (the Christian mystical sect of Emanuel Swedenborg, who founded the New Jerusalem Church) All prominent American homoeopaths in the nineteenth century, from Constantine Hering to Kent, were members of the New Jerusalem Church; and the members of the Church were mostly supporters and followers of homoeopathy. In Russia, homoeopathy was similarly closely connected with the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Missionary School of Medicine, founded in England in 1903, was closely associated with the Faculty of Homoeopathy in London in the early 1900's.

In addition to his repertory, Kent is renowned for his books Lectures on Materia Medica and Homeopathic Philosophy.

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