Program on Medicine and Religion

UNESCO Workshop

The Program on Medicine and Religion is co-sponsoring the 8th UNESCO Workshop on Bioethics, Multiculturalism, and Religion.

The mission of the Bioethics, Multiculturalism, and Religion Project is to provide a forum in which representatives of diverse religions and traditions can:

  • engage one another in a sustained scholarly dialogue about global bioethics;
  • cultivate an amicable atmosphere so participants can learn about each other’s tradition or religion with discursive empathy;
  • promote mutual understanding of global bioethics through respectful discussion and scholarship;
  • strive to develop the linguistic and conceptual space in which common ground or convergence can emerge and be mutually recognized and appreciated; and finally
  • foster creative cooperation while respecting the dignity and uniqueness of each tradition.

The 2021 topic is “Protecting the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity” (Nov 8-10, 2021) in Bangkok, Thailand. The Program on Medicine and Religion will be co-sponsoring Dr. David Barr’s to participate as a PMR Affiliate Scholar for this Workshop. 

David Barr, PhD

Divinity School Teaching Fellow in the Divinity School and the College

David A. Barr is a scholar of social and political ethics, with specific interests in environmental ethics, Christian realism, political discourse, and racial justice. His work draws on Christian theological symbols, such as its descriptions of human nature, to help make sense of complex historical phenomena (such as climate change and structural racism) with the aim of clarifying the character, structure, and limits of contemporary moral contexts.

His current writing project explores the value of Christian realism for Christian environmental ethics. In particular, it argues that the principle contribution theology can make to environmental thinking is in interpreting the depth and complexity of the problem, helping to specify the task and prospects of environmentalist activism, rather than using Christian resources to motivate it.

He teaches classes on religious and philosophical accounts of the ethical life, particularly as they relate to contemporary moral problems. His current course offerings include Christian Ethics and Is Humanity Doomed?