Duke Divinity Professors Ray Barfield, Farr Curlin, and Warren Kinghorn are among leading scholars contributing to a book providing a comprehensive evaluation of the relationship between spirituality, religion, and medicine based on current empirical research and academic scholarship.

Brett McCarty, Th.D., St. Andrews Fellow in Theology and Science at Duke Divinity School, and Duke Divinity Th.D. candidate Sarah Barton, M.S., M.T.S., O.T.R./L., currently serving as Nouwen Fellow at Western Theological Seminary, also contributed chapters to Spirituality and Religion Within the Culture of Medicine: From Evidence to Practice. Published in 2017 by Oxford University Press, the book was edited by Drs. Michael Balboni and John Peteet.

The book provides trainees and clinicians with an introduction to the field of spirituality, religion, and medicine, and its multi-disciplinary approach gives researchers and scholars in the field a critical and up-to-date analysis. The volume assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the most recent empirical research of religion/spirituality within 12 distinct fields of medicine; turns to academic scholarship outside the field of medicine to consider cultural dimensions that form clinical practice; and identifies the best studies in the field of religion and health, ongoing weaknesses in research, and what can be confidently believed based on prior studies.

The contributions by Duke Divinity scholars tie into the core work of the school’s Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative, said Kinghorn, M.D., Th.D., who co-directs the initiative with Curlin. Kinghorn is the Esther Colliflower Associate Professor of the Practice of Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke Divinity and an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. Curlin, M.D., is the Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities at Duke, and Barfield, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy.