Expert on Health and Religion Neal Krause of U of M Will Lecture at Baylor University

April 4, 2014
Neal KrauseNeal Krause courtesy photo.

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (April 4, 2014) – The Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) at Baylor University will host Neal Krause, Ph.D., associate chair and the Marshall H. Becker Collegiate Professor of Health in the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, as he lectures at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 8.

Krause, whose research interests include stress, health and religion in late life, will present his topic “Exploring the Pivotal Role of Social Relationships in the Church” in the Cox Lecture Hall of Armstrong Browning Library, 710 Speight Ave.

During his lecture, Krause “will argue that social relationships in congregations play a key role” in the beneficial effects of religion, he said.

“Viewed broadly, my intent is to sketch out a ‘causal’ sequence that begins with virtues, runs through church-based social relationships and the other explanatory mechanisms, to health,” Krause said.

Every year for ISR’s Program on Religion and Population Health at Baylor, director Jeff Levin, Ph.D., University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and professor of medical humanities at the ISR, brings in an academic researcher who is considered an expert on religion and health.

“For anyone who is familiar with this field, Dr. Krause would be at the top of the wish list of folks to invite here,” he said. “We’re so blessed that he was able to say yes.”

Krause has conducted a series of nationwide surveys designed to explore the potential relationship between religion and health among older whites, blacks and Mexican-Americans. For the past 20 years, Krause “has been one of the major superstars in the field,” Levin said.

“This is an opportunity for students and faculty to hear a real maestro — a major figure in social science research — document evidence for the benefits of churchgoing and other forms of religious involvement for mental health and well-being,” Levin said. “Anyone with an interest in health science, sociology, psychology, religious studies or social work especially, would really benefit from the opportunity we have to host someone of the stature of Dr. Krause here at Baylor.”

For more information about this and other ISR events, call 254-710-7555.

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDIES OF RELIGION

Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute’s mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve. For more information, visit www.baylorisr.org

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