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Symposium on Religion & the Health Sciences

Event Type
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Department of Religion, with support from Interfaith America
Room 300 Levis Faculty Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana) and via Zoom
wifi event
Dec 2, 2022   8:30 am - 3:00 pm  
Ross Wantland
Originating Calendar
OVCDEI – Events

Amidst a nationwide effort to improve diversity education in the health sciences, religion has received little attention. While some healthcare professionals find the topic daunting and mostly avoid it, others presume that it falls exclusively within the domain of hospital chaplains or patients’ religious communities. This two-day symposium will explore the positive ways in which religion can be present in healthcare contexts and will encourage attendees to think of interfaith knowledge as an important part of the practice of medicine in contemporary America. 

The symposium will kick off with a public lecture with Roshi Joan Halifax on the intersections between religion and healthcare in death and dying. On Friday, December 2nd, the symposium will include three panels of experts in religion, health sciences, and humanities in dialogue on key issues. 

Friday Symposium Schedule 

8:30-9:00am Welcome & Breakfast  

9:00-10:30 am Session One: Health & Healing Panel  

  • Carolyn Roncolato, Interfaith America (Moderator)  
  • Rabbi Alan Cook, Sinai Temple of Champaign-Urbana 
  • Brett Hendrickson, Religious Studies, Lafayette College
  • Imanni Sheppard, Carle College of Medicine
  • Justine Murison, English

10:45 am-12:15 pm Session Two: Death & Dying Panel  

  • Stephanie Hilger, Comparative and World Literature (Moderator)  
  • Kaytlin Butler, Hospital Chaplain, The Mount Sinai Hospital NYC 
  • Miki Chase, Religion 
  • Krista Jones, UIC School of Nursing
  • Imam Ousmane Sawadogo, Central Illinois Mosque & Islamic Center

12:15-1:15 pm Box Lunches Provided  

1:15-2:45 pm Session Three: Religious Perspectives on Animal Care  

  • Jane Desmond, Anthropology (Moderator)   
  • Katharine Mershon, Philosophy and Religion, Western Carolina University 
  • Yvette Johnson-Walker, Veterinary Medicine 

2:45-3 pm Closing Session  

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