When You Come Into My Room

This poem from Professor Stephen A. Schmidt, EdD calls into question the utility of a reductionist approach to health care, calling instead for empathetic physicians who treat their patients as people, not merely the sum of their diseases. “When you come into my hospital room, you need to know the facts of my life that […]

The Patient as Teacher: What Dr. Dan learned from Fred

Medicine is a genuine ministry. All one need to do is to read the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles to know that the ministry of Jesus and his early disciples was a ministry of preaching and healing. Similarly, St. Francis of Assisi and the early friars preached in city squares and cared for […]

Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God

John Kilner Kilner explores what the Bible itself teaches about humanity being in God’s image. He discusses in detail all of the biblical references to the image of God, interacts extensively with other work on the topic, and documents how misunderstandings of it have been so problematic. People made according to God’s image, Kilner says, […]

Living Well and Dying Faithfully: Christian Practices for End-Of-Life Care

John Swinton and Richard Payne, eds. Living Well and Dying Faithfully explores how Christian practices — love, prayer, lament, compassion, and so on — can contribute to the process of dying well. Working on the premise that one dies the way one lives, the book is unique in its constructive dialogue between theology and medicine […]


Richard A. Swenson Physician-writer Swenson provides a prescription against the danger of overloaded lives. Focusing on margin in four key areas – emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances – he offers an overall picture pf health that employs contentment, simplicity, balance, and rest. From the publisher. Get this book.

Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Call

Richard A. Swenson Swenson, himself a physician, guides his readers to consider the place of contentment in their lives. Ultimately, the only place where true contentment can be found is in Christ. Very helpful for those of us living in the chaos of achievement-oriented culture of medicine. From the Ed. Get this book.

Spirituality in Patient Care: Why, How, When, and What

This landmark handbook for health professionals interested in identifying and addressing the spiritual needs of patients has been significantly revised and expanded. Over the past five years, since the first edition was written, there has been increased research on the relationships among religion, spirituality, and health, and further discussions on the application of these findings […]

At the Membranes of Care: Stories in Narrative Medicine

Recognizing clinical medicine as a narrative undertaking fortified by learnable skills in understanding stories has helped doctors and teachers to face otherwise vexing problems in medical practice and education in the areas of professionalism, medical interviewing, reflective practice, patient-centered care, and self-awareness. The emerging practices of narrative medicine give clinicians fresh methods with which to […]

Life Together

Dietrich Bonhoeffer A classic text on Christian community, this story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years reads like one of Paul’s letters. The WWII martyr gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups through a rhythm of solitude and community. The […]

Healing Skills for Medical Practice

David Schenck and Larry R. Churchill This short piece in the Annals of Internal Medicine is a distillation of the book, Healers by the same authors.  Interviews with 50 physicians recognized as “healers” revealed eight skills as pivotal: do the little things; take time; be open and listen; find something to like, to love; remove […]

Healers: Extraordinary Clinicians at Work

David Schenk and Larry R. Churchill The authors synthesize the results of interviews with 50 expert clinicians identified by their peers as “healers,” examining in depth what the best clinicians actually do. Although not focused on Christian healing per se, their conclusions about how healing occurs (i.e., through caring practices that sustain virtues) is deeply […]

Teach Us to Care, and Not to Care

Eugene Peterson From Subversive Spirituality A masterful piece written about the vocation of Christian caregiving today. With classic rhetorical whimsy, Peterson (author of The Message paraphrase of the Bible) challenges us to live in the tension between our own poverty as caregivers and the inevitable sinfulness of those we care for.

Engage or Run: Reflections from my Intern Year

Brian Lindman Lindman, a seminary graduate and former Vanderbilt student now working as a cardiologist at Washington University, gave this address at the commissioning service for Christian medical students in 2002. A powerful, raw, and sobering account of the caregiving choices—and spiritual opportunities—faced by physicians in training. From Ed. Perhaps the most significant personal transformation […]

Caregiving: Its Role in Medicine and Society in America and China

In this article, the author examines the undervaluation of caregiving—taken to be the day-to-day provision of material and emotional support necessary to enable life and alleviate suffering—in contemporary biomedical training and practice. Taking a crosscultural approach, the author highlights the institutional structures, practices and values that support an increasingly technocratic and bureaucratic model of care […]

Illness: Tragedy or Challenge

Dan Fountain In this book chapter Fountain addresses sick patients as the enspirited bodies that they are, educating them about their own healing resources and the “triangular” nature of the healing process as a partnership between themselves, the caregiving team, and God himself. Very accessible for the medical laity but also a great primer for […]

Tell Me about Yourself: the Patient-Centered Interview

Frederic W. Platt and David L. Gaspar This eminently practical piece offers five key questions that every budding physician needs to ask to know their patient as a person. From Ed. Patient: That specialist you sent me to is probably a pretty good doctor, but you can’t talk to him. Physician: What do you mean? Patient: […]

Fidelity: Five Stories

Wendell Berry The title short story, Fidelity, is a “must read” for health care workers. Here Berry portrays the argument of his essay, “Health is Membership” in compelling, fictional form, highlighting the hazards and limitations of technologized “McMedicine.” From Ed. Get this book.

Health is Membership

Wendell Berry Berry is a poet, essayist, novelist, and farmer from Kentucky. After reading work like this, you will realize that he is also something of a prophet. Wonderfully helpful for thinking about the meaning of health. From Ed. Delivered as a speech at a conference, “Spirituality and Healing”, at Louisville, Kentucky, on October 17, 1994 […]

Theology and Dementia

Presentation by John Swinton: ‘Theology and Dementia’ from the 2012 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability Conference, an interfaith perspective on topics related to developmental disabilities, discussed by international theologians, scholars and authors. A beautiful lecture which helps viewers to think about the nature of dementia and the identity of those suffering from it. “Our […]

Upholding the Vision: Serving the Poor in Training and Beyond

The Hebrew prophets described the flourishing that God intends for creation as shalom, which we could today translate as health in the deepest and most holistic sense.  And nowhere is the lack of shalom more evident today than some of the most broken and economically-deprived places.  We would do well to work toward to health […]

The Rebirth of the Clinic: An Introduction to Spirituality in Health Care

Daniel Sulmasy In this careful examination of the relation between spirituality and health care, Sulmasy explores the nature of illness and healing, describes empirical research on the effects of spirituality on health, and devotes special attention to the care of people at the end of life. From the publisher.  Get this book.

Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine

Joel Shuman and Brian Volck One of the best books dealing with the intersection of faith and medicine. Written by a Catholic pediatrician and a Methodist theologian. Very thought-provoking for medical professionals and “laity” alike, especially in its polemic against “medical Gnosticism. From Ed. Get this book.

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Walker Percy A mock self-help book that pokes fun at the genre, all the while inviting us to think about our place in the universe. From Ed. Walker Percy’s mordantly funny and wholly original contribution to the self-help book craze deals with the Western mind’s tendency toward heavy abstraction. This favorite of Percy fans continues […]

Something Beautiful for God

In celebration of Mother Teresa’s beatification in October of 2003, HarperOne is proud to present a new edition of the classic work that introduced Mother Teresa to the Western world. Something Beautiful for God interprets her life through her conversations with Malcolm Muggeridge, the quintessential worldly skeptic who experienced a remarkable conversion to Christianity because […]

Medicine as Ministry

Margaret E. Mohrmann Mohrmann is a pediatrician and philosopher at the University of Virginia who thoughtfully examines how Christians should approach medicine. Well worth the price of the book for her chapter on the idolatry of health and medicine. From Ed. Get this book.

The Mystery of the Child (Religion, Marriage, and Family)

Martin E. Marty Drawing on literature as new as contemporary poetry and as old as the Bible, The Mystery of the Child encourages the thoughtful enjoyment of children instead of the imposition of adult will and control. Indeed, Marty treats the impulse to control as a problem and highlights qualities associated with children — responsiveness, […]

The Hauerwas Reader

Stanley Hauerwas is one of the most widely read and oft-cited theologians writing today. A prolific lecturer and author, he has been at the forefront of key developments in contemporary theology, ranging from narrative theology to the “recovery of virtue.” Yet despite his prominence and the esteem reserved for his thought, his work has never […]

The Consolation of Philosophy

Boethius One of the most influential Christian philosophical books ever written, written by a 6th century Christian as he awaited execution in prison. Read this after reading “The Problem of Pain”. Not a fast read. From Ed. Get this book on Amazon or for free at Project Gutenberg. This eBook is for the use of anyone […]

God, Medicine & Miracles: The Spiritual Factor in Healing

Have you ever gone into a doctor’s office and come out feeling like a laboratory project rather than a human being? This book offers a refreshing perspective. In Dr. Daniel’s forty years in the medical community, he has discovered an important truth: people find more complete healing when treated as integrated persons – with minds […]

The Gift of Pain

Paul Brand and Phillip Yancey In this book first published as Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants,  Brand and Yancey describe how pain can be one of God’s great gifts to us. Physician Paul Brand draws on his decades of ministry to patients with leprosy to probe the mystery of pain and reveals its importance.  The Gift of Pain […]

The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying

Jeffrey Bishop Bishop, a philosopher, ethicist, and physician, argues that something has gone sadly amiss in the care of the dying by contemporary medicine and in our social and political views of death, as shaped by our scientific successes and ongoing debates about euthanasia and the “right to die”–or to live… He argues that a […]

Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition

[A] scathing assessment…Berry shows that Wilson’s much-celebrated, controversial pleas in Consilience to unify all branches of knowledge is nothing more than a fatuous subordination of religion, art, and everything else that is good to science…Berry is one of the most perceptive critics of American society writing today.-Lauren F. Winner, Washington Post Book World. I am […]

Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Transformation, and Unconditional Love

Expecting Adam is the beautifully written, poignant, achingly funny true story of John and Martha Beck, and of the extraordinary child they brought into the world. John and Martha were an exceptionally ambitious and driven all-American couple. With six Harvard degrees between them, and living in the refined and competitive atmosphere of the Harvard campus, […]

The Art of the Common Place: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geo-biography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and […]

Brain Surgery with Words

Ray Barfield is a pediatric oncologist at Duke University interested in the intersection of medicine, philosophy and theology. Most recently his medical research has focused on immune therapies for childhood cancer and on improving of the quality of life for children with severe or fatal diseases. His work in philosophy focuses on ethics and the […]