Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 265–282 | Cite as

The discourse on faith and medicine: a tale of two literatures

  • Jeff LevinEmail author


Research and writing at the intersection of faith and medicine by now include thousands of published studies, review articles, books, chapters, and essays. Yet this emerging field has been described, from within, as disheveled on account of imprecision and lack of careful attention to conceptual and theoretical concerns. An important source of confusion is the fact that scholarship in this field constitutes two distinct literatures, or rather meta-literatures, which can be termed (a) faith as a problematic for medicine and (b) medicine as a problematic for faith. These categories represent distinct theoretical lenses for viewing the intersection of faith and medicine. Observations about these two approaches are offered, along with insights about why the discourse on faith and medicine should become better integrated into discussions of religion and science.


Faith Health Medicine Religion Science Spirituality 



The author would like to thank the two reviewers for their very helpful comments and suggestions.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Studies of ReligionBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

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