Spirituality, Medicine & Health - Syllabi


This is a collection of syllabi on various aspects of spirituality, medicine, and health. Syllabi are welcome; please email the contact address.


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Title: "Spirituality, Medicine, and Health"

Author: Prof. Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University

The aim of this course is to learn about the complex entanglements among religious traditions and spirituality, medical traditions and healing modalities, and norms for physical and mental health. This will involve (i) gaining a basic grasp on the history of the medical traditions of China, India, the Middle East, and the West, including the metaphysical frameworks that inform those traditions; (ii) studying the complex controversy over spirituality and health research and attempting to decide whether and how the efficacy of healing modalities is to be evaluated; (iii) understanding how western biomedicine interacts with the array of medical traditions and spiritually inspired healing modalities that thrive in the West; and (iv) throughout the course, addressing philosophical, theological, and ethical questions about norms for mental and physical health and comparing metaphysical frameworks for health and healing. Read the syllabus here.

Title: Islamic Medicines and Healing

Author: Prof. Lance Laird, Boston University

Students will appreciate the diversity of forms that Islamic medicines and healing have taken both across time and geography. Students will develop a critical and empathetic understanding of how Muslims practice healing informed by and in conversation with the religious tradition of Islam. Students will be able to engage constructively with contemporary discourses and debates related to the revival of various forms of “Islamic” medicine. Read the syllabus here.

Title: Religion and Public Health

Author: Prof. Lance Laird, Boston University

This course explores multiple dimensions of the relationship between religion and health in the context of public health projects. Students will critically examine research literature on “religion, spirituality, and health” to understand the problems of definition and the various proposed conceptual links between these fields of human experience. Students will explore the historical development of medicine and public health in the context of religious communities and missionary outreach. Students will consider examples of faith-based public health organizations and current research on “religious health assets,” both locally and internationally. Students will consider the role of public health efforts in proselytizing for particular religious, political, economic, and scientific values. Read the syllabus here.