Theology and Medicine: At the Spirit-Body Interface

Class Number: 
D02
Week: 
Week One
June 7-11
9:00-11:30 EDT

Class Price: 
$375


This will be an online course instructed via Zoom. This course is capped at 23 participants. 

This synopsis of a popular course, team-taught by faculty members from Yale Medical School and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School, explores topics of traditional interest in both fields–suffering, illness, healing and well-being–in interdisciplinary terms.  The course focuses not primarily on pastoral care or chaplaincy, but on a conversation about faith and meaning stimulated by the concrete issues experienced in giving and receiving medical care.  Class topics will range from the latest studies on the relation of well-being to religious practice (and on the kinds of religion that are good for us) to insights on burnout among doctors and ministers.  We will explore where religious understandings of suffering intersect with the neurology of pain, including a class visit to the Cushing “Brain Room” at Yale.  Readings for the course will include Victoria Sweet’s God’s Hotel, Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and some relevant medical journal articles.   

Ben Doolittle is an associate professor and program director of the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program at Yale Medical School.  He is co-director of the Yale Program for Medicine, Religion and Spirituality, which aims to foster dialogue about the significance of religious and spiritual commitments in understanding illness, and to translate the fruits of research in order to foster mutual understanding, to reimagine medicine, and to improve patient care.  He is the Medical Director of the Faculty-Resident Medicine-Pediatrics Practice.  His practice focuses on addiction, Hepatitis C, HIV, and primary care.  His research interests explore the intersection of medicine and spirituality, wellness and burnout.  Ben is also an ordained minister, holding an MDIV from Yale Divinity School, and serves a local urban congregation.

S. Mark Heim is the Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology at Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School.  His teaching in the area of science and religion has received several national awards, including a Templeton Foundation award in 1998 for one of the twelve outstanding courses in this area.  He was recently a primary investigator on a grant from the American Academy for the Advancement of Science devoted to integrating science into the theological curriculum.  Mark’s books include Salvations: Truth and Difference in Religion; Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross; and, most recently, Crucified Wisdom: Christ and the Bodhisattva in Theological Reflection.  An ordained American Baptist minister, he has represented his denomination on the Faith and Order Commissions of the National Council and World Council of Churches.

Syllabus: 
Other Documents 01: 
Yale Divinity School


Ben Doolittle

S. Mark Heim