Being great fans of the US medical drama, ‘House’, staff at Auckland’s School of Theology have been especially excited to accept an invitation from the University’s School of Medicine to take part in this year’s Medical Humanities programme. This multidisciplinary programme offers stage three medical students a range of courses that allow them to study medical issues from the perspective of Arts disciplines, including history, law, music, art, comparative literature, philosophy, and theology.
This year, the School of Theology are offering a course entitled, ‘Exploring the Spirituality of Healing’, which will consider some of the beliefs and practices of spirituality within religious traditions and the different ways that these have been associated with healing in medical and mental health contexts. Taking into account such factors as gender, sexuality, cultural context, and religious diversity, the course will focus on a range of topics, including medical ethics and spirituality, models of research into spirituality and healing, the role of personal spirituality for the clinical practitioner, the psychology of healing and forgiveness, and cross-disciplinary collaboration within the healing/clinical environment.
The significance of spirituality and religion for health and healing has been both increasingly well researched and hotly debated over the past decade by both theologians and those working in the medical professions. It is hoped that ‘Exploring the Spirituality of Healing’ will engage the interest of Auckland’s medical students in this fascinating subject and keep the current debate alive and kicking.