Theological Approaches to Persons in Pain, March 28, 2019

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?

Keynote Speakers

Ellen Davis, PhD, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School; 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; John Swinton, PhD, Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, King’s College, University of Aberdeen; Eleonore Stump, PhD, The Robert J. Henle, SJ, Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University; 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 (PA)