Kent, James Tyler (1849-1910), pioneer and pillar of homeopathy.
James Tyler Kent was born in New York, in 1849 to the large family of Steven Kent and his wife Caroline Tyler and was raised as “staunch Baptist “. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in 1868, followed by a Master’s degree in 1870. He enrolled at the Institute of Eclectic Medicine at Cincinnati, Ohio from which he graduated in 1873 having studied standard medicine, homeopathy and chiropractic. He was thus, at the age of 26, very well prepared to take up practice in 1874. He started his career in St. Louis, Missouri as an eclectic practitioner.
Kent married young, but his wife Ellen died soon after their marriage at the age of 19. Ten years later his second wife, Lucy, became very ill and incapacitated, bed ridden for months. There proved no successful treatment from himself, from orthodox or eclectic physicians. Out of desperation, a homeopathic practitioner was consulted, Dr.Richard Phelan, under whose ministration Lucy made a dramatic recovery. Her illness, treatment and cure moved Kent in a new direction. Under the direction of Dr Phelan, Kent undertook a course of studies in The Organon of Hahnemann. From then he considered homeopathy to be the only therapy to address the fundamental causes of illness.
Kent resigned from eclectic medicine and embarked on a huge career in teaching, administration and writing.
Outstanding career appointments :
Chief of anatomy at Homeopathy Medical College, St Louis , Missouri.
Professor of Materia Medica and Dean of postgraduate School of Homeopathy at Haneman Medical College in Philadelphia.
Professor of Materia Medica at Hering College and Hospital in Chicago.
In 1897 he published his most important written work :
Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica : …a voluminous book that lists in a dictionary format symptoms for ailments of body and mind with remedies are listed for each symptom.
Discoverer and teacher of treatment with medicines by Series and Degrees,(possibly precursor of modern day treatment of allergies ) Kent also argued against the conventional theory that “germs” cause infectious diseases and advocated the beliefs that illnesses have spiritual causes such as toxic emotions and he was somewhat criticized for putting too much emphasis on psychical symptoms. Of all his texts and journals and general teachings of some 35 years, “The Great Repertory“ remains most popular to this day for its completeness and precision.
Celebrated as one of the greatest masters of Homeopathic Medicine and Philosophy, his legacy in his Homeopathic writings is published in many languages and has followers all over the world.