Engaging theological research with clinical practice

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Monday, 16th April 2018UPCOMING Seminar Thursday 26 April 2018:
Co-productive Ethics: Bridging the Fact-Value Divide in Mental Health Service Provision

This seminar will take place on Thursday 26 April 2018, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room B
(D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Revd Julian Paul Raffay, Specialist Chaplain (Research Education and Development), Spiritual and Pastoral Care Department, Mersey Care NHS Trust; PhD candidate, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

ABSTRACT:
Mental health services – described as ‘a broken and demoralised system that does not deliver the quality of treatment that is need for people to recover’ – commonly ignore faith communities. This seminar reports on a constructivist grounded theory thesis with embedded co-production exploring collaboration. Thirty participants were interviewed: mental health service users, carers, staff, faith leaders, and community organization leaders. They identified the Enlightenment bifurcation as causing vulnerabilities. I surmised agent-focused medical ethics to be an artefact of the fact-value divide, under undue utilitarian influence.

Co-productive ethics identifies service users and carers as having vital contributions towards effective mental health services that bridge the divide. It proposes that faith communities and mental health services become critical friends in supporting communities to develop services prioritizing health promotion and recovery.

This seminar will set the history of mental health provision within MacIntyre’s fact-value debate and introduce co-productive ethics. Moore’s organizational ethics will provide opportunity to explore how it might influence future services. Issues for ecclesiology and practical theology will be raised and opportunity provided for discussion. A key question is whether co-productive ethics is a valid construct.

 

BIOGRAPHY:
Having returned to St John’s College, I am now in the fifth year of the DThM course. Having served as vicar and mental health chaplain, my grounded theory research explores closer working between faith communities and mental health services. The concept of co-productive ethics emerged from the study data. Most study participants drew from mental health services and faith communities what they needed. They suggested the division between mental health service and faith communities reflects MacIntyre’s fact-value divide. This led me to propose that agent-focused approaches to care are inadequate and potentially harmful. Participants considered both fact and value as essential to recovery and potentially critical friends. Co-productive ethics challenges narrow definitions of medical evidence and sets a new standard. Collaboration between service users, carers, and staff to co-create services has potentially very different outcomes. Austerity provides its own impetus. Co-productive ethics, rooted in grounded theory, challenges both churches and practical theological models.

I am currently working in Mersey Care as Specialist Chaplain (Research, Education, and Development). I am conducting a pilot study as part of an action research cycle into the impact of co production on spiritual and pastoral care (chaplaincy) services. Phase One used grounded theory to study what mental health service users wanted from chaplaincy. Significantly, it offered a novel understanding of spirituality, rooted in service users’ response to institutionalization. In Phase Two, we identified a baseline (conventional chaplaincy). The current mixed methods study (Phase Three) is considering issues standing in the way of conducting a clinical trial (Phase Four). This will evaluate co-produced chaplaincy. We hope the methodology and findings will lead to similar research in allied health professions. Working alongside a lived experience advisory panel, embeds co production within the research.

My MTh in Chaplaincy Studies dissertation used grounded theory to explore service user and staff opinions of spiritual assessment. I theorised that nurses experience a perfect storm that risks turning them into technicians and service users into data. I proposed a two-stage approach to assessing spiritual strengths and needs.

Also relevant to my work is the award-winning study day Mental Health: Challenge or Opportunity? Co-written with another mental health researcher (Emily Wood), this is undergoing its second academic evaluation and holds out the prospect of national rollout.

 

Monday, 16th April 2018SEMINAR PROGRAMME
Easter Term 2018

SEMINAR PROGRAMME – Easter Term 2018

These seminars are open to all staff and students of Durham University and to the general public. However, please be aware that they are aimed at a postgraduate level and are therefore especially suitable for MA, PhD and DThM students, as well as for others engaged in postgraduate study in relevant areas of enquiry.

 

If you would like to attend any of these seminars, please send an e-mail to Charidimos Koutris (charidimos.koutris@durham.ac.uk) in order to ensure that a place will be available for you.

 

Also feel free to visit the Durham University website to Subscribe to these seminars, download future seminars as an iCal calendar file or download the seminar programme in pdf format.

 

Thursday 26 April 2018 (4.30-6pm)
Co-productive Ethics: Bridging the Fact-Value Divide in Mental Health Service Provision
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Revd Julian Paul Raffay,
Specialist Chaplain (Research Education and Development), Spiritual and Pastoral Care Department, Mersey Care NHS Trust; PhD candidate, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

 

Thursday 3 May 2018 (4.30-6pm)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Meets Albert Schweitzer: Can ‘Reverence for the Penultimate’ form a Christian Mandate for Church Involvement in 21st Century Healthcare?
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Dr Robert M. Jaggs-Fowler,
Medical Director and Director of Primary Care, NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group; Ordinand; PhD candidate, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

 

 

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Monday, 5th March 2018Seminar Thursday 15 March 2018:
The human professional: facilitating or obstructing patient-centred end of life care?

This seminar took place on Thursday 15 March 2018, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room B
(D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Dr Colette Hawkins, Academic Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Oswald’s Hospice, Newcastle

ABSTRACT:
How we care for the dying is an indicator of how we care for all sick and vulnerable people. It is a measure of society as a whole and it is a litmus test for health and social care services.
EOL Care Strategy 2008

A comfortable death, aligned with individual priorities and values, seems a reasonable expectation, perhaps even a human right. National standards are now in place to define how care should be delivered and yet multiple reports demonstrate failure to achieve these standards in many cases. This talk explores the factors contributing to this and specifically questions the influence of professional individuality on experience and outcomes towards end of life. Participants will have the opportunity to see some short stories relating to end of life care, part of a new programme of professional learning developed by Colette, intended to support the attitudes and behaviours needed for person-centred end of life care.

 

BIOGRAPHY:
Colette Hawkins, BSc MB BS MRCP, has worked as a Consultant in Palliative Medicine in the North East for 16 years. She developed a strong interest in the experience of illness and care around end of life through research into cachexia with Macmillan Cancer Support. She also has a keen interest in teaching and learning, but has been convinced that the traditional model of didactic teaching in small professional groups has limited impact on practice. This led her to develop a novel inter-professional learning programme based on stories around end of life care. The programme is designed to support the attitudes, behaviours and confidence needed across the wide health and social care workforce to offer person-centred, dignified end of life care.

Colette is working with St Oswald’s Hospice, Newcastle, leading a research project around legal issues experienced by people with life limiting illness. She holds honorary contracts with Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS FT and Newcastle University.

 

Monday, 19th February 2018Seminar Thursday 1 March 2018:
The nature of prayer in the theology of Joseph Ratzinger

This seminar took place on Thursday 1 March 2018, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room B
(D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Ms Silvija Balenović Visinski, MA Social Worker; PhD student, Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, Rome

ABSTRACT:
“… the linking of philosophy, theology and spirituality … could perhaps be fruitful and open up new approaches…to help the practice of those fundamental attitudes in which human existence opens itself up to God and thus becomes truly human”.

(Ratzinger, J., The Yes of Jesus Christ – Exercises in faith, hope and love, p. 134)

 

BIOGRAPHY:
Silvija Balenović Visinski, MA Social Worker, later specialized on Master from Ratzinger’s Theology and Spirituality at Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome. Also, specialized in the field of Wellness Therapy. Fluent in English, Croatian and Polish, beginner in German and Italian. Worked as assistant, project manager and consultant on several universities and NGO’s in Croatia and Poland as well as from time to time an “informal-just-for-the-friends tour-guide” in Rome and Vatican gardens. She has been living in Rome for the last few years and currently is preparing a doctorate regarding questions of truth and love in Ratzinger, that is, on the essence of Christianity from Ratzinger’s perspective.

 

Monday, 5th February 2018Seminar Thursday 15 February 2018:
Authentic Interiority and Studying Spirituality

This seminar took place on Thursday 15 February 2018, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room B
(D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Revd Dr Michael O’Sullivan, Director of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education; Programme Leader MA in Applied Spirituality; Research Fellow, University of the Free State, South Africa

To watch the Lecture, please click on the video below:

 

ABSTRACT:
“If you look at the educational system and you look at most of the public fora in our culture, there is very little time or attention given to what you could almost call learning the art of inwardness or a pedagogy of interiority”.
(John O’Donohue, On Being website)

This lecture will focus on authentic interiority as a framework for identifying that we are spiritual, and for establishing the scope of the field of spirituality study and how to study the field. It will provide an opportunity to discover and verify the nature of authentic interiority. It will also apply that framework to do a spiritual reading of the lived experience of a girl-child, an atheist, and Jesus when faced with a woman’s infirmity. These readings will illustrate the value of authentic interiority as a foundational and methodological framework for revealing spirituality at work in diverse lived situations.

 

BIOGRAPHY:
Rev. Dr. Michael O’Sullivan is Co-Founder and Director of SpIRE, the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education in Dublin, Ireland (www.spiritualityinstitute.ie), Programme Leader for the MA in Applied Spirituality at Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland, and Research Fellow, University of the Free State, South Africa. He is also a Jesuit priest.

He was formerly Director of the MA in Christian Spirituality programmes, Cluster leader of PhD and MA by research spirituality students, and Head of Theology at All Hallows College, Dublin City University; before that he was Director of the Higher Diploma and MA in Applied Spirituality at Milltown Institute (National University of Ireland); and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Spiritual Capital Ireland Centre.

He is a member of the Executive Board of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality, a member of the Management Team for the Centre for the Academic Study of Christian Spirituality at the University of Zurich, a Fellow of the European Spirituality in Economics and Society Institute, a Research Associate at the Centre for Spirituality, University of Hull, and a member of the Spirituality Research and Innovation Group, Trinity College Dublin.

He has served on the Governing Board of the largely North American international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (SSCS), and the Steering Committee of the Christian Spirituality Study Group of the American Academy of Religion. He currently serves as a founding member on the International Relations Committee, as well as on the Promotions Committee, of the SSCS, which is growing into a global society, and is a member of the editorial board of Spiritus, the Society’s prestigious journal.

He worked as a missionary in Latin America, and has extensive experience living and working with socio-economically disadvantaged people in Ireland and Latin America, as well as in East Africa where he was a visiting lecturer.

Many of his publications can be found by clicking on his orcid id, which is available on the website of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education.

 

Monday, 22nd January 2018Seminar Thursday 1 February 2018:
Integrating Spiritual and Scientific Perspectives to Psychological Wellbeing

This seminar took place on Thursday 1 February 2018, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room B
(D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Dr Fraser Watts, Visiting Professor of Psychology and Religion, University of Lincoln

To watch the Lecture, please click on the video below:

 

ABSTRACT:
The question of how to integrate spiritual and scientific perspectives on mental health can be seen as a special case of the general question of how to relate religion and science. A spiritual approach is relevant to what counts as a problem of mental wellbeing, as well as to understanding particular problems of wellbeing. Some have seen spiritual and scientific perspectives as separate and unconnected; or as incompatible, so requiring a choice between them. I will take them as distinct, but complementary perspectives. A complexity is that the spiritual approach to mental health is itself a hybrid. It can be part of a broader scientific approach to mental health; but it can also represent a completely different approach to mental health. These issues are further complicated by current debates about whether problems of mental health, especially psychosis, should be understood in medical or in psychosocial terms. A case study of integrating neurological and spiritual approaches to wellbeing will be presented.

 

BIOGRAPHY:
Fraser Watts was formerly Reader in Theology and Science in the University of Cambridge, where he was Director of the Psychology and Religion Research Group and a Fellow of Queens’ College. He is also a former President of the British Psychological Society and of the International Society for Science and Religion. He is now Executive Secretary of the International Society for Science and Religion and a Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln.

His books include Theology and Psychology (Ashgate, 2002); Psychology for Christian Ministry (with Rebecca Nye and Sara Savage, Routledge, 2002); Forgiveness in Context (ed. with Liz Gulliford, T & T Clark, 2004); Jesus and Psychology (DLT, 2007); Spiritual Healing: Scientific and Religious Perspectives (CUP, 2011); Head and Heart: Perspectives from Religion and Psychology (ed. with G. Dumbreck, Templeton Press, 2013;) Evolution, Religion and Cognitive Science: Critical and Constructive Essays (edited with L Turner, OUP, 2014); Psychology, Religion and Spirituality (CUP, 2017).

 

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018Seminar Thursday 18 January 2018:
Healing and wholeness: practical theology in dialogue with evidence-based healthcare

This seminar took place on Thursday 18 January 2018, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room B
(D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Revd Prof. Mark Cobb, Clinical Director & Honorary Senior Chaplain, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, UK

ABSTRACT:
Contemporary health care is largely a secular matter that retains little of its historic association with religion, and yet a type of spirituality has begun to flourish in this clinical space dissociated from theological tradition or practice. The relationship between spirituality and health has become a growth area in contemporary health studies and one that has all the makings of a field in its own right. Spirituality in this context represents a fourth dimension to the physical, psychological and social aspects of health and contributes to attempts at rebalancing the dominant biomedical model into something more explicitly holistic and humanistic. Concepts of spirituality have thus developed within the academic paradigms of health, and medicine in particular, that typically take reductive, functional and inclusive forms of spirituality that can be subject to scientific methods and applied broadly to the clinical population. In this seminar, in which I draw upon some of my own research in palliative care, I aim to explore three interrelated themes: firstly, what the emerging healthcare discourse of spirituality might reflect about pastoral practice; secondly, the extent to which pastoral ministry might be empirically responsible and capable of entering into dialogue with more evidence based approaches; and thirdly how practical theology might contribute to the contemporary challenges of nurturing healthy persons and communities.

 

BIOGRAPHY:
Mark Cobb, BSc, MA, PhD is a Clinical Director and Honorary Senior Chaplain at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and he holds honorary academic appointments at the University of Liverpool, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. Mark’s specialist field of practice and research is palliative care, and his previous publications include A Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies (Routledge) and The Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare (Oxford University Press).

 

Monday, 1st January 2018SEMINAR PROGRAMME
Epiphany Term 2018

SEMINAR PROGRAMME – Epiphany Term 2018

These seminars are open to all staff and students of Durham University and to the general public. However, please be aware that they are aimed at a postgraduate level and are therefore especially suitable for MA, PhD and DThM students, as well as for others engaged in postgraduate study in relevant areas of enquiry.

 

If you would like to attend any of these seminars, please send an e-mail to Charidimos Koutris (charidimos.koutris@durham.ac.uk) in order to ensure that a place will be available for you.

 

Also feel free to visit the Durham University website to Subscribe to these seminars, download future seminars as an iCal calendar file or download the seminar programme in pdf format.

 

Thursday 18 January 2018 (4.30-6pm)
Healing and wholeness: practical theology in dialogue with evidence-based healthcare
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Revd Prof. Mark Cobb,
Clinical Director & Honorary Senior Chaplain, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, UK

 

Thursday 1 February 2018 (4.30-6pm)
Integrating Spiritual and Scientific Perspectives to Psychological Wellbeing
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Dr Fraser Watts,
Visiting Professor of Psychology and Religion, University of Lincoln

 

Thursday 15 February 2018 (4.30-6pm)
Authentic Interiority and Studying Spirituality
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Revd Dr Michael O’Sullivan,
Director of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education; Programme Leader MA in Applied Spirituality; Research Fellow, University of the Free State, South Africa

 

Thursday 1 March 2018 (4.30-6pm)
The nature of prayer in the theology of Joseph Ratzinger
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Ms Silvija Balenović Visinski,
MA Social Worker; PhD student, Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, Rome

 

Thursday 15 March 2018 (4.30-6pm)
The human professional: facilitating or obstructing patient-centred end of life care?
Seminar Room B (D/TH004)Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham
by Dr Colette Hawkins,
Academic Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Oswald’s Hospice, Newcastle

 

 

Durham University logo (transparent)

 

Wednesday, 27th September 2017The Expanded Reason Awards winners have been selected

After receiving 367 works from 170 universities and over 30 countries, the international jury, meeting at the University Francisco de Vitoria, has chosen four winners and two honorable mentions that best answered the challenge of actively promoting a dialogue between sciences and theology/philosophy. The Awards ceremony will take place at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on September 27th. Honorable mention for Christopher Cook and the MA in Spirituality, Theology & Health of the Department of Theology and Religion.

Christopher Cook

The MA in Spirituality, Theology & Health

Professor Christopher Cook qualified in medicine from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1981. He specialised in psychiatry and worked for over 25 years in the psychiatry of substance misuse. He has research doctorates in medicine and in theology. His academic interests are in spirituality, theology & health. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 2001. He is an Honorary Minor Canon of Durham Cathedral and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist with Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. Chris is Professor of Spirituality, Theology & Health in the Department of Theology & Religion at Durham University. He is President of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality. His book publications include: The Philokalia and the Inner Life: On Passions and Prayer (2011), Spirituality, Theology & Mental Health (ed., 2013), and Spirituality and Narrative in Psychiatric Practice (eds Cook, Powell & Sims, 2016).

The MA in Spirituality, Theology & Health at Durham University is an inter-disciplinary and inter-professional programme aimed at enabling students to develop an integrative understanding of human sickness, health and wellbeing from both theological and scientific perspectives. To our knowledge, it is the only programme of its kind internationally on which clergy and health professionals, theologians and scientists can study together at masters level on the same programme in the same classroom. It provides opportunity for inter-disciplinary conversations within which scientists and health professionals can increase their awareness of the theological questions and research pertaining to their work and, similarly, chaplains and theologians can have opportunity to engage with some of the relevant scientific issues.

Read more about the awards here and more about the winners here.

The awards ceremony can be watched here.

 

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Wednesday, 23rd August 2017Applications are being accepted for our
MA Programme in Spirituality, Theology & Health

The MA programme in Spirituality, Theology & Health provides a unique opportunity for inter-disciplinary and inter-professional study in this field. It forms a good basis both for theological reflection on professional practice and also an introduction to research methods for those who are thinking of working towards a PhD or DThM. It can be pursued part-time or full-time.

 

To quote one of our students:

Every trip to St John’s College, Durham is eagerly undertaken; not just because Durham is such a fantastic city with a fascinating history and heritage, but because the teaching on the course is to such a high standard, with immensely knowledgeable lecturers who are obviously keen to impart that knowledge and to engage in meaningful debates with the students.

 

Applications and enquiries from prospective students are always welcomed. For further information, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Secretary in the Department of Theology and Religion: theo.pgadmissions@durham.ac.uk.

 

Alternatively, you can contact one of the members of Academic Staff to discuss potential thesis topics.

 

To find out more, download the Spirituality, Theology & Health MA Flyer and visit the Department of Theology & Religion website:

 

Spirituality, Theology & Health

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