Mixing Religion & Medicine?

In Boston on Friday, January 18, 2019, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.: “Religion and Medicine: Should They Mix?”, cosponsored by the Veritas Forum, Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, and The Initiative on Health Religion, and Spiritually at Harvard Medical School (HMS). The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the HMS TMEC Amphitheater, 260 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115.

This event will feature Tia Powell (Director of Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Richard Sloan (Professor of Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Columbia University), Lydia Dugdale (Associate Professor Term; Associate Director, Program for Biomedical Ethics; Co-Director, Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality, and Religion), Tyler VanderWeele (Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health), and Howard Koh (Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard University).

From the announcement:

There are many reasons for concern about physicians/healthcare providers bringing their religious beliefs into clinical practice. The power dynamic between physicians and patients can lead to unintended consequences, and some might say that since most physicians are not trained to talk about these issues, they should leave them to hospital chaplains. There is also the issue of time: clinicians have too much to do, so why add one more thing to their plate?

On the other hand, many would acknowledge that religion/spirituality form an integral part of the lives of many patients and have profound implications on their health. A growing number of empirical studies suggest a relationship between religion and its impact on health and patient care. Why not include a spiritual history in addition to other clinical histories?

This historic forum will feature a variety of perspectives on this issue.

Those who wish to join a dinner and discussion immediately following the event (8:50-10:00PM) may RSVP here:


Posted in Conference, Educational resource, News, Overheard, Upcoming Event

Learn Global Health from Ancient Bones

How can classics and archaeology give us clues about the history of health and poverty? Take a look at this free online teaching tool of 9 mini-cases. A 20-page case set I wrote and designed for classroom use and discussion, it offers illustrated stories from the past and lessons for global health today.

Visit the Incubator’s free online Resource Repository to view and search for cutting-edge recent research, teaching tools, case studies, and more!

Posted in Educational resource, Web resource

Medicine & Metaphor in Christian History: New Essays

Rethinking Medical Metaphors in Late Ancient Christianity”
New special issue of Studies in Late Antiquity, vol. 2, no. 4, winter 2018. Read more here. You may need institutional library access to read if you don’t subscribe to the journal; titles and abstracts are here:



Posted in Educational resource, Web resource

Christmas Reader

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In Glass: Medicine, Science, and Liturgy

The arts of medicine and science, detail in the stained glass windows behind the high altar, Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso University. Click to view enlarged.

Posted in Reflection

Extreme Poverty: Status Quo in the USA

“The United States is a land of stark contrasts…its immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live. About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty…”

Philip Alston, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on his Mission to the United States of America, United Nations General Assembly, A/HRC/38/33/Add.1, May 4, 2018. The report was presented at the 38th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, 18 June-6 July 2018. Read the full report here.

Read more about the report, responses to date, and the need for longterm, low key, sensible and consistent action here.

Posted in Educational resource, Overheard, Web resource

Malala: On refugees in this moment, now

Nobel-Peace-Prize awardee, Malala Yousafzai speaks on peace, displacement, girls’ education, the important role of fathers, and the state of girl refugees around the world today. Her remarks are part of a December 6 conversation with Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Harvard Professor Samantha Power at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, during a visit as recipient of the 2018 Gleitsman Activist Award. Malala is currently studying at Oxford University in the UK. Watch for her new book, We are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls around the World. Learn more about Malala and her work.

Posted in Educational resource, Online Lecture, Overheard, Web resource