Emory University

"Healers & Healing"
Gary Laderman, Associate Professor, American Religious History and Culture
Arri Eisen, Biology Professor
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Email: gladerm@emory.edu

This project will address the role of religion in the experience of healing by promoting sustained and in-depth discussion about the possible links between religion, medicine, and healing. "Healers & Healing" builds on momentum at Emory in the area of science and religion, which began with two former SRCP course prizewinners, Gary Laderman and P.V. Rao.

Four key interconnected elements comprise the "Healers & Healing" project:

* A faculty seminar (Fall 2002) follows the example of previously successful seminars. However, participants will be invited with the specific purpose of helping to focus the topics and pedagogy for the teaching of the project's new course, and as a foundational group for the conference and publication.

* An undergraduate seminar, "Healers, Mind, and Medicine" will be taught in Spring 2003. Unique features of this course include partnering of science students with humanities students as they lead class discussions and develop research projects. Research posters will be developed from these projects and presented at the conference and on the web. The students will be mentored by a wide array of faculty and scholars available to them at Emory.

* A public symposium (Spring 2003) will be led by scholars who have participated in the weekly faculty seminar series, and will include a workshop devoted to the teaching of science and religion, focusing especially on the issues raised during the conference. Again, this symposium draws on previous successes - it is the third in a series, following "Healing and Suffering" and "Prolonging Life." As noted above, student poster presentations will be an important component of the conference. The project leaders plan to interview participants in the "Healers and Healing" project for Science in Your Life, a radio show/website on Atlanta's National Public Radio station. The show airs five times a week to an audience of 150,000, and will soon be repeated around the nation. The impact of this type of outreach is staggering.

* Discussions have begun with M.E. Sharpe Publishers about the possibility of developing a set of encyclopedic-like volumes entitled History and Issues in Science and Religion (Fall 2004). The volume would include enhanced versions of the conference presentations and contain a significant emphasis on the teaching of the issues involved - both in the classroom and to a broader public.

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