Ray Barfield

is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy. Dr. Barfield is a pediatric oncologist and palliative care physician. He joined the faculties of Duke University Medical School and Duke Divinity School in 2008. He is a founding director of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative and the Pediatric Quality of Life and Palliative Care program. The first half of his career focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer (including bone marrow transplantation and antibody therapy) and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has focused on the role of theology, humanities, and the arts in the formation of physicians. He has published widely in medicine, philosophy, and literature, including several books: Life in the Blind Spot (poetry), The Book of Colors (a novel), The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy, and Wager: Beauty, Suffering, and Being in the World. Forthcoming books include Dante’s New Moon (poetry), The Practice of Medicine as Being in Time (philosophy), and The Poetic Apriori: Philosophical Imagination in a Meaningful Universe. Currently he is the director of the Medical Humanities Program for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Medical Humanities, and History of Medicine in the medical school.