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Out of Our Meds? Symposium: “But I am Afflicted”: Attending to Persons in Pain in Light of the Opioid Crisis

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 9AM | JB Duke Hotel

March 28, 2019

JB Duke Hotel, Durham, NC

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The third annual conference of the “Out of our Meds?: Theology and Pharmaceuticals” series will consider the contemporary opioid crisis through a theological lens in order to develop faithful and fitting resources for both churches and healthcare practitioners.

The conference aims to gather theologians and healthcare practitioners to address a moral question: In light of the opioid crisis, how should clinicians, pastors, and support networks of friends and family respond to those who suffer pain? This is no easy question, as the opioid crisis has complex theological, philosophical, socioeconomic, and institutional roots.  By considering our approach to pain in a theological context, we can better understand the multifaceted nature of the opioid crisis and develop fitting responses.

To that end, we also aim to generate new resources that help clergy and clinicians overcome barriers preventing them from uniting to address the opioid epidemic. The project will produce scholarly manuscripts and other resources to aid clinicians, clergy, and congregants as they seek to coordinate their support of those in pain. Not merely clinical primers, these resources will be oriented toward helping practitioners address the pressing moral question: In light of the opioid epidemic, how should I respond to my neighbor (my congregant, my patient, my friend) who is experiencing pain?

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Plenary Speakers

Farr A. Curlin, MD, the Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities and Co-Director of the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School

Ellen Davis, PhD, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School

Brett McCarty, Th.D., St. Andrews Fellow in Theology and Science at Duke Divinity School

Joel Shuman, PhD, Professor of Theology at King’s College

Eleonore Stump, PhD, The Robert J. Henle, SJ, Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University

John Swinton, PhD, RMN, RNMD, Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen

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Registration deadline: March 25

Early bird registration through March 15: $50.

Registration between March 15-25: $75.

Duke faculty, staff, and students with Duke Unique ID: free

Parking: Science Drive Garage rate: $2.00/hour; daily maximum: $12.00


click here to register



We have a limited number of rooms available at the JB Duke Hotel for those requiring lodging.   Registrants are responsible for their own reservations and associated costs.  Reservations may be make using the following booking link (listed under the former name of the symposium):

Theology, Medicine, and Culture Symposium, Duke Divinity School

Note: If you encounter any problems opening the link hold down the CTRL key while clicking on the link

or call JB Duke Hotel at (919) 660-6400 and request Reservations referencing

Theology, Medicine, and Culture Symposium, Duke Divinity School (Group ID:  723164)




March 28, 2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Theology, Medicine, and Culture


JB Duke Hotel
230 Science Dr
Durham, NC 27708 United States
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