Faith, Medicine, and Science

Faith, Medicine, and Science COVER

Faith, Medicine, and Science

Faith, Medicine, and Science:  A Festschrift in Honor of Dr. David B. Larson is a comprehensive collection of groundbreaking work from one of the principal figures in the establishment, expansion, and acceptance of scientific research at the interface of religion, spirituality, and health. Dr. Jeff Levin and Dr . Harold G. Koenig honor their late colleague with a retrospective of his writings on the impact of religious faith and identity on physical and mental health and on a variety of social issues, including criminal behavior, substance abuse, mental illness, juvenile delinquency, reproductive decisions, marital satisfaction, family functioning, and the quality of life. The book also features a concise history of the religion and health field, a biography of Dr. Larson, and tributes, essays, and remembrances from the leading figures in the field.

Faith, Medicine, and Science honors Dr. Larson’s role in raising awareness of the health effects of religious faith and his vision and efforts in establishing coursework on religion and spirituality within undergraduate and graduate medical education programs. His body of theoretical and empirical writings serves as a permanent record of the powerful role played by religion and spirituality, and his work stands as a lasting contribution to science, medicine, and society. These articles combine with the book’s supplemental features to provide social and behavioral scientists, medical researchers, and clinicians with an essential resource for clinical research and education.

From the Foreword by William P. Wilson, M.D.,
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
“Dave felt that the research he did would demonstrate the power of God in healing, and it has done just that. But mostly it has demonstrated the preventive medical aspects of a faith in the one true God. . . . It is only fitting that this book be published to honor him. I am glad that I had the opportunity to know him and to participate in his growth as a psychiatrist, researcher, and child of God. Kahlil Gibran said that the essence of a good teacher is that he will lead his student into a realization of his own mind. I believe that Dave truly came into realization of his. As you read this work, I pray that you realize what a remarkable man he was and how God used him for His glory.”


Praise for Faith, Medicine, and Science:


“I AM THRILLED THAT THIS MATERIAL IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT.  I have been reading Dave Larson’s research from the beginning and I know how scrupulously careful and honest he was and how thorough he was in his research.  Individuals can continue to grow in their understanding of the integration of faith, medicine, and science.”
Paul Meier, M.D. , Founder of Meier Clinics

“David Larson energetically challenged a generation of psychiatrists to think differently about faith.  Many wondered how he accomplished so much and where the science of religion and health would be without him.  Here are affectionate tributes to his humor, vision, and generosity, as well as to the remarkable integration of his professional and family life.  Drs. Levin and Koenig also include a collection of his seminal papers and scholarly reflections of colleagues, providing valuable perspective on his legacy and on what remains to be done.”
John Peteet, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Chair, APA Corresponding Committee on Religion, Spirituality, and Psychiatry

“A MUST-READ for all who are interested in the history, development, and current thinking on the relationship between religious faith, healing, and personhood, and who appreciate those occasional visionaries in our midst whose legacies continue to teach us in ways never imagined.  This is a remarkable and moving tribute to the life and legacy of an extraordinary physician, scholar, and person.  Colleagues, admirers, and family members reflect on Dr. Larson’s life, faith, character, courage, and commitment to founding a field of study when most were dismissive of its significance.  This book is a testament to that process, bringing together selections of Larson’s writings spanning two decades.”
Allan Hugh Cole, Jr., Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

“This is a most excellent reflection on the life of Dr. Larson, one of the world’s foremost authorities on religion and medicine.  This book allows the reader to travel with Dr. Larson through his passion for spirituality and its role in medicine and provides examples of his scholarly works.”
Marvin L. Crawford, M.D., M.Div. , Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine

Faith, Medicine, and Science is more than just a volume to honor a great man:  It is a labor of love about David B. Larson, a pioneer in the field of spirituality-and-health and a man who deserves such a work. . . .  The chief part of Faith, Medicine, and Science is selections of Larson’s writings.  Yet these more academic chapters are balanced with engaging and sincere reflections written by people closest to him.  This is not a book for those seeking a controversial read but well suited for those who enjoy inspirational reading, biographies or summarized research. . . .   Faith, Medicine, and Science fervently demonstrates the gaping hole Larson left behind, both professionally and personally.”
Science & Theology News

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Table of Contents

FOREWORD by William P. Wilson
Chapter 1 Faith Matters: Reflections on the Life and Work of Dr. David B. Larson by Jeff Levin and Harold G. Koenig
Chapter 2 Personal Remembrances
Chapter 3 Eulogies by David Chad Larson and Kristen Joan Larson
Chapter 4 The Nearly Forgotten Factor in Psychiatry: What a Difference a Decade Makes. The 20th Annual Oskar Pfister Award Address by Susan S. Larson.
Chapter 5 Religious Life of Alcoholics
Chapter 6 Systematic Analysis of Research on Religious Variables in Four Major Psychiatric Journals, 1978-1982
Chapter 7 Religious Affiliations in Mental Health Research Samples as Compared with National Samples
Chapter 8 Associations Between Dimensions of Religious Commitment and Mental Health Reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry and Archives of General Psychiatry: 1978-1989
Chapter 9 Religious Content in the DSM-III-R Glossary of Technical Terms
Chapter 10 The Couch and the Cloth: The Need for Linkage
Chapter 11 The Impact of Religion on Men’s Blood Pressure
Chapter 12 A Systematic Review of Nursing Home Research in Three Psychiatric Journals: 1966-1985
Chapter 13 Mortality and Religion/Spirituality: A Brief Review of the Research
Chapter 14 Have Faith: Religion Can Heal Mental Ills
Chapter 15 Dave: My Daring, Dauntless, Devoted White Knight by Susan S. Larson
Chapter 16 Curriculum Vitae