Practice and Profession Symposium

November 11, 2011

Practice and Profession Symposium

Practice and Profession, A Working Group of the Program on Medicine and Religion, The University of Chicago, and the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University.

International House, University of Chicago

Click here to see the symposium videos [YouTube]

Physicians discipline themselves to practices of attending to those who are sick or whose health is threatened. In those practices physicians make practical judgments about how to apply medical science toward patients’ good. In our society, those judgments are subject to the competing claims of multiple authorities, including patients, health care institutions, professional organizations, and the state. Many physicians also understand themselves to be under the authority of God as known and experienced through the practices of particular moral communities. Tensions between the claims of these authorities lead to differences in physicians’ clinical decisions and raise questions about what a physician qua physician ought to practice and profess.

These questions often emerge in relation to debates about conscientious refusals in medicine and about the proper relationship of “religion and medicine.” This working group will address the following question: What would it mean to rightly set the practice of medicine in the context of a good (virtuous, ethical, and/or faithful) life? Participants will also explicate what their answers to this deeper question imply for the practice(s) of medicine in our day, with specific attention to relevant contemporary debates about religion and medicine. Participants may address these issues as questions of political philosophy and or theological or philosophical ethics. They may draw to greater or lesser extents on a particular religious/theological tradition.

Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
Martin Marty, University of Chicago
Margaret Mohrmann, University of Virginia
Daniel Sulmasy, University of Chicago
Elliot Dorff, American Jewish University
Jonathan Lear, University of Chicago
Gerald McKenny, Notre Dame University
Joel Shuman, King's College
Farr Curlin, University of Chicago
Warren Kinghorn, Duke University
Lisa Lehmann, Harvard University
Allen Verhey, Duke University