Program on Medicine and Religion

Research Collaboration with the Enhancing Life Research Laboratory

“Enhancing Imaginaries and Care of the Soul”

This fourperson panel presented at the Conference on Medicine and Religion in 2023 and detailed the recent work of the Enhancing Life Research Laboratory on the importance of religious and social diagnostic imaginaries, what we call “counterworlds,” for the sake of helping patients and medical professionals confront situations of orientational distress.The limits of medicine become apparent in the need of healthcare providers and patients to use counterworlds in order to orient their lives and care for their bodies and souls. After all, the soul is the vital core of life that must both integrate life and navigate complex situations. The four presentations in this panel included the following topics, panel members, and moderator. These individuals represented different disciplinary expertise and institutional settings.

1) The meaning and use of counterworlds in diagnosing and reshaping situations of orientational distress (Guenter Thomas: Theology and Sociology, University of Bochum)

2) Judging when life is enhanced or what is good soul care for the integrity of life (William Schweiker: Ethics and Intellectual History, University of Chicago Divinity School)

3) The healthcare provider and counterworlds: tending to body and soul (Ruth Farrell: Obstetrics/Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic)

4) Results and findings of the Enhancing Life Research Laboratory (John Yoon: Internal Medicine/Medical Education, University of Chicago Medicine with Marie Kim, Program Manager for the Program on Medicine and Religion)

5) Moderator (Daniel Sulmasy: Medical Ethics, Georgetown University Medicine)

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