The annual Conference on Medicine and Religion, held in Durham, North Carolina this year, will explore chronic pain and faithful responses to it. Pain haunts human experience and frequently leads people to seek help from medical practitioners. As many as one in four American adults suffers chronic pain. On one hand, relieving pain seems the most obvious of responsibilities for clinicians. As the saying goes, “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.” On the other hand, pain often seems to defy medical solutions and to bedevil the efforts of both patients and clinicians. What, then, should we make of pain? What are traditioned practices of responding wisely to pain? What role does medicine play in those practices?
Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures and traditions all speak to the experience of pain, why it exists, how one might respond faithfully to pain in oneself and in one’s neighbor, and what may be hoped for when pain will not go away. The 2019 Conference on Medicine and Religion invites health care practitioners, scholars, religious community leaders, and students to take up these questions about pain by relating them to religious traditions and practices, particularly, but not exclusively those of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The conference is a forum for exchanging ideas from an array of disciplinary perspectives, from accounts of clinical practices to empirical research, to scholarship in the humanities.
March 29-31, 2019, JB Duke Hotel, Durham, North Carolina
“They Sat Down on the Ground with Him…” Responding to Job’s Suffering
Abdullah Antepli, D. Min. Candidate, Duke University
Ellen F. Davis, M.Div., Ph.D., Duke Divinity School
Laura Lieber, Ph.D., Duke University
Structural Racism and Health Disparities—Legacies of the Past, Challenges of the Future
Jeffrey Baker, M.D., Ph.D., Duke University
Patrick T. Smith, M.Div., Ph.D., Duke University
Suffering and/or Mental Illness: What is the Role of Medicine?
Rev. Professor John Swinton, University of Aberdeen
Samaiya Mushtaq, M.D., UT Southwestern
Conference Sponsors — Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine, and Initiative on Theology, Medicine and Culture, Duke University; Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University; Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center; Initiative on Health, Religion and Spirituality, Harvard University; the Ohio State University Center for Bioethics & Medical Humanities; Institute for Faith and Learning, Baylor University; Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture; and Loma Linda University.