Featured Speakers

Human Dignity and the Future of Health Care: Every Person Endowed with Dignity; Every Person Worthy of Care

2010 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, October 28-Saturday, October 30, 2010
Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Featured Speakers

Elias Bongmba Elias Bongmba is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian Theology and professor of religious studies at Rice University. His scholarly interests combine his study of African religions and his research in theology and philosophy of religion with African philosophical ideas and Continental philosophy. His third book, Facing a Pandemic: The African Church and the Crisis of AIDS (2007), addresses the HIV/AIDS crisis and argues that the image of God challenges religious communities in Africa to scale up the fight against HIV/AIDS at the local and national level through an ethic of love and compassion.

Toyin Falola Toyin Falola is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History and a distinguished teaching professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria and a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. He is the co-editor of the Journal of African Economic History, series editor of Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, and series editor of the Culture and Customs of Africa by Greenwood Press. A prolific scholar, he is co-editor of Health Knowledge and Belief Systems in Africa (2008), which considers the understandings of health and illness in the communities of Africa, and how African belief systems contribute to health.

Paul Griffiths Paul J. Griffiths is Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School. With research interests in Catholic philosophical theology, philosophical and political questions arising from religious diversity, Augustinian thought, and Gupta-period Indian Buddhist thought, he is a prolific writer and commentator on contemporary culture. His most recent books include Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity (2004), The Vice of Curiosity: An Essay on Intellectual Appetite (2005), and Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar (2009).

Jeff Levin Jeff Levin is university professor of epidemiology and population health, professor of medical humanities, and director of the program on religion and population health in the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. An epidemiologist and religious scholar, he also serves as adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and as scientific chair of the Kalsman Roundtable on Judaism and Health Research at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Notable among his many articles and books are God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection (2002) and his most recent book, Divine Love: Perspectives from the World's Religious Traditions (2010).

Gilbert Meilaender Gilbert Meilaender is Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Professor of Christian Ethics and chair of the department of theology at Valparaiso University. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, and in 2002 was named by President George W. Bush to be a founding member of the President's Council on Bioethics. His books include Body, Soul, and Bioethics (1995), and Bioethics: A Primer for Christians (1996, 2005). He has recently edited (together with William Werpehowski) The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics (2005).

Stephen Post Stephen Post is professor of preventive medicine, head of the division of medicine in society, and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. In addition to his work in the medical humanities, he also is engaged in the study of altruism, love, and compassion in the integrative context of scientific research, philosophy, and religious thought. He is president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love established in July 2001 with support from the Templeton Foundation. His books include Unlimited Love: Altruism, Compassion, and Service (2003), Altruism & Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research (2007), and his most recent book, co-authored with Jill Neimark, Why Good Things Happen to Good People: The Exciting New Science That Proves the Link Between Doing Good and Living a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life (2007).

Margaret Somerville Margaret Somerville is the founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law and the Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University. She has been active worldwide in the development of bioethics and in the broader questions of the legal and ethical aspects of medicine and science. She has received international recognition as a speaker at numerous conferences on the legal and ethical issues of science and society. In 2004, she was named the first recipient of the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science. Her books include Death Talk: The Case Against Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (2002), The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit (2004), and The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit (2008).

Daniel Sulmasy Daniel Sulmasy is Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics in the department of medicine and Divinity School, and associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics in the department of medicine at the University of Chicago. A Franciscan friar, internist, and ethicist, his research interests encompass both theoretical and empirical investigations of the ethics of end-of-life decision-making, ethics education, and spirituality in medicine. In addition to his work as teacher and scholar, he continues to practice medicine part-time as a member of the university faculty practice. He is the author of four books: The Healer's Calling (1997), Methods in Medical Ethics (2001; 2nd ed. 2010), The Rebirth of the Clinic (2006), and A Balm for Gilead (2006). He also serves as editor-in-chief of the journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. He serves as a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

John Swinton John Swinton is chair in divinity and religious studies and professor in practical theology and pastoral care at King's College, University of Aberdeen. Additionally, he is the founder of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. Trained originally as a nurse, he worked in the field of mental health and learning disabilities before serving for a number of years as a hospital chaplain. His books include Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the Care of People with Mental Health Problems (2001), Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a "Forgotten Dimension" (2001), and most recently an edited volume with Brian Brock, Theology, Disability and the New Genetics: Why Science Needs the Church (2007).

S. Kay Toombs S. Kay Toombs is associate professor emeritus of philosophy at Baylor University. Diagnosed in 1973 with multiple sclerosis, she explores her firsthand experience of chronic progressive debilitating disease in order to reflect on issues relating to the experience of illness and disability, the phenomenology of the body, the experience of disability, the care of the chronically ill, the challenges of incurable illness, and the relationship between health care professionals and patients. Her highly-praised book, The Meaning of Illness: A Phenomenological Account of the Different Perspectives of Physician and Patient (1992), has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. She is editor of The Handbook of Phenomenology and Medicine (2001) and co-editor of Disability: The Social, Political and Ethical Debate and Chronic Illness: From Experience to Policy (2008).