In 1965, while I was a student of Human Anatomy at Kurnool Medical College, I had the opportunity to know about Dr. J. C. B. Grant (1886-1973), the author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy. The 5th Edition of his Atlas was published in 1962 and was available in India in our Medical College Library.
Born in Loanhead (south of Edinburgh) in 1886, Grant studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated with an M.B., Ch.B. degree in 1908. While at Edinburgh, he worked under the renowned anatomist Daniel John Cunningham.
Grant became a decorated serviceman of the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War before moving to Canada. He established himself as an ‘anatomist extraordinary’ at the University of Toronto, publishing three textbooks that form the basis of Grant’s Anatomy. The textbooks are still used in anatomy classes today, and made unforgettable memories for those who found themselves in his classes nearly a century ago. One of Grant’s many accomplishments was establishing a division of histology within the department.
As a medical student, I used Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, the seminal work of Scottish-born Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant, who would become the chair of Anatomy at the University of Toronto in 1930 and retired in 1965.
John Charles Boileau Grant (1886–1973)
The author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy (1943), Grant used to train thousands of medical students around the world. He came to University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine from University of Manitoba (and previously Edinburgh), and was Chair of the Department of Anatomy there from 1930 to 1965. Although he is best known for this famous atlas, his research and teaching also included biological anthropology, as evidenced by such work as Anthropometry of the Cree and Saulteaux Indians in Northeastern Manitoba (Archaeological Survey of Canada 1929). The human skeletal collection he formed, the “J.C.B. Grant Collection,” is still a core collection for human osteology in the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto. He is also remembered in the Grant’s Museum at the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto. This museum, with its displays of anatomical specimens, many of which were dissected by Grant himself, continues to be used in an active learning environment by more than 1000 students each year.
Students continue to use Grant’s textbooks today, and for the more artistic anatomist there’s even a Grant’s Anatomy Coloring Book, published in 2018.
At the University of Toronto, Dr.McMurrich, Chair of Anatomy was succeeded as chairman in 1930 by Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant. Dr. Grant wrote three text books, of which “An Atlas of Anatomy” (published in 1943) rapidly gained international prominence and is still, one of the most widely used anatomical atlases in the world. It is now known as “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy” and is in its tenth edition. The atlas was based on a series of elegant dissections done either by Grant or by others under his supervision. Many of these dissections are currently housed in Grant’s Museum at the University of Toronto.
The Rudi-Grant Connection is about knowing the man, the building blocks and the structural units and organization of the human body. To defend the human existence, the Rudi-Grant Connection lays the emphasis on knowing the person who is at risk apart from knowing the agent posing the risk.
THE IDENTITY OF MULTICELLULAR HUMAN ORGANISM:
Daniel John Cunningham was born on 15 April 1850 in Scotland. After his initial schooling at his home town, Crieff, he took up the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh and passed with honours. He is best known for the excellent series of dissection manuals, namely Cunningham’s Dissection Manuals. Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy has provided me the learning tools to know and understand Man’s External and Internal Reality and its Identity as described by Cells, Tissues, Organs,and Organ Systems.
I learned the truths about the living human body and about Life while dissecting the dead human bodies in a systematic manner. The Manual of Practical Anatomy which guides us through this entire process was published in England. The author Dr. Daniel John Cunningham prepared the Manual while dissecting cadavers of British or Irish citizens. He had never encountered cadavers of Indian citizens. At Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India, where I was a student, the Department of Anatomy obtains dead bodies from Government General Hospital Kurnool and most of the deceased are the poor, illiterate, and uneducated people of that region. None of the deceased had the chance to know this man called Cunningham and Cunningham had no knowledge about the existence of these people who arrive on our dissection tables. But, as the dissection of the human body proceeds, inch, by inch, we recognize the anatomical parts as described by Cunningham. The manual also lists some anatomical variations and we very often exchange information between various dissection tables and recognize the variations mentioned. The dissections also involve slicing the organs and studying them, both macroscopically, and microscopically. We did not miss any part of the human body.
So what is the Identity of this Human person or Human subject? How does the living Human organism maintain its Identity and Individuality? Apart from the Cultural Traditions of India, several Schools of Religious Thought claim that the Human Individual and its Identity is represented by Human Soul. Where does this soul exist in the human body? What is the location if the soul is present in the living person? Does man have a soul? How does the human organism acquires Knowledge about its own structures and the functions they perform? To know the burdens of Life, I ask my readers to know the reality of man and the nature of his existence.
The Joy of Christmas and the uplifting power of Christ
HUMAN EXISTENCE AND THE GAME OF CHESS:
I view human existence as a game of chess. Depending upon the nature of the opponent, human existence faces challenges from several directions which may not be anticipated and man may or may not be able to escape from the danger posed to his existence.
The popular game of chess is played on a chessboard by two players each with 16 pieces. The game pieces have varying abilities of movement over the chessboard. The piece identified as ‘King’ can move in all directions but can only move by one space during a given move.
The object of the game of chess is to ‘checkmate’ the opposing player’s King. The move that is known as ‘Checkmate’ wins the chess game by checking the opponent’s King so that it cannot be protected. The condition of the King after such a move indicates complete defeat or that the King is dead.
Human Existence could be compared to the game of chess. A variety of physical, chemical, and biological factors constantly challenge human existence. The man learns to survive by making the necessary moves and by deploying all of his defensive mechanisms and resources. During his life’s journey, the man eventually finds himself in a position without any escape route. Just like the ‘Checkmated’ King, the man may get cornered in a situation which is beyond his control. The chess game pieces have no ability other than the movement that is allowed by the rules of the game. Unlike the chess game, the man whose existence is ‘Checkmated’, the man whose existence is undefended; the man who is not capable of making any more moves to protect his own existence, may get rescued by an ‘Uplifting Power’; and such an ‘Upward’ move is not described in the game of chess.
MAN vs GOD – THE JOY OF GETTING ‘CHECKMATED’:
Clive Staples Lewis (1898 – 1963), Oxford and Cambridge Scholar, novelist, writer of stories for children, and Literary Critic, in his Autobiographical Sketch titled ‘Surprised by Joy’ has visualized his existence as that of a ‘Divine Pursuit’. It is not the man who searches and eventually finds God. It is rather God who pursues the man throughout his life’s moves. God is the one who searches for man and not vice versa. God goes about seeking the souls that are His. If a man wanders off, God goes to the man in order to reconcile him. God’s searching for man is serious and is not ostensible. If life could be described as Man vs God Chess Game; God skillfully places the man in a position which gives no option of escape and finally God captures the man. C.S. Lewis has entitled the penultimate chapter of his Autobiography as “Checkmate.” Lewis describes God as the Divine Chess player who gradually maneuvers him into an impossible position. “All over the board, my pieces were in the most disadvantageous positions. Soon I could no longer cherish even the illusion that the initiative lay with me. My Adversary began to make His final moves.” When God is the Divine Chess player, getting ‘Checkmated’ is only a moment of great Joy. The man who is defeated, the man who is pursued, and the man who is outmaneuvered, is saved by the ‘Uplifting Power’ of Mercy, Grace, and Compassion of the Divine Chess player.
THE UPLIFTING POWER OF CHRIST:
In the New Testament Book John, Chapter 10, Jesus describes Himself. In verse 11, He states: “I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
And He further clarifies in verses 14 and 15 by stating: “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
THE SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK:
As the shepherd marches ahead, the sheep of his flock follow him from behind and recognize him by the commands of his voice.
In the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 12 to 14, Jesus describes the Parable of the Lost Sheep: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.”
God is not really willing that any of us should be lost. In case we choose to wander off, He is willing to search for us, find us and take us back to His Home. And after saving the lost sheep, Jesus tells about the shepherd: “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” (Luke, Chapter 15, verses 3-7).
God actually delights Himself by finding the lost among us.
THE PROBLEM OF BLACK SHEEP:
The problem of “Black Sheep” is not about its color. The word ‘black’ reflects the discredited status of the sheep. Black Sheep means a member of a family or group regarded as not so respectable or successful as the rest. The flock rejects one of its own, and the discredited member is described as the “Black Sheep.” The Shepherd tends to His flock of sheep who recognize Him and follow Him.
In John, Chapter 10, verse 9, Jesus describes Himself as the Gate of His sheep pen, and said: “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” What happens to the “Black Sheep” who is not a member of His flock? The non-member could be described as a disbeliever. Who would rescue the “Black Sheep” that has wandered off? As a discredited member of my community and my country, the concept of “Black Sheep” and its “Uplift” is of great interest and concern to me.
Jesus assures us that He is aware of the existence of sheep that may not belong to His sheep pen.
In John, Chapter 10, verse 16, Jesus gives a sense of great hope to others who may not know Him and may not live under His protection: “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be One flock and One Shepherd.”
THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS:
The Joy of Christmas comes from the fact that God knows you, and He takes pleasure in finding you and He gets you back into His Protection even if you have wandered away from Him and got lost. He is aware of the sheep that are not in His sheep pen. Even the “Black Sheep” belong to His sheep pen and He would rejoice when He rescues one lost sheep.