The research program in Health and Religion in a Global Context aims to understand the nuances of the relationship between health and religion in a wide range of geographic settings and to identify ways in which religion impacts the making of global health policies and the delivery of health care around the world.
We recognize religion, spirituality, and health to be broad constructs best understood through a myriad of phenomena and human experiences, where religion and religious experiences may impact the meaning and the value placed on health or prescribe particular ways to pursue it, and health may also influence the ways in which religious and spiritual beliefs and practices are defined and performed.
The unit aims to re-introduce into the fields of Science, Technology and Society, and Global Health major questions related to the role of religion in the making of health care policy and in the study of the history of global health and medicine. Some of our research programs include:
- Religion and religious views in the garnering of political capital, the making of global health policies, and the governing of foreign aid, particularly related to mental health.
- Development of missionary medicine, including different historical questions related to the introduction of Western medicine into different parts of the world and how it was received and how different agents and actors dealt with this process of introduction and integration.
- Influence of historical, cultural and religious models on the supply, distribution and access to medical and public health services.