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More than Just Health: Theo--ethical Reflection as a Religious Health Asset

Bersagel Braley, Matthew (2012)
Dissertation (344 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Bounds, Elizabeth M
Committee Members: Brown, Peter J ; Marshall, Ellen Ott ; Tipton, Steven M
Research Fields: Theology; Religion, General; Health Sciences, Public Health
Keywords: Christian ethics; HIV/AIDS; global health; Christian Medical Commission; religious health assets; theological reflection
Program: Laney Graduate School, Religion (Ethics and Society)
Permanent url: http://holden.library.emory.edu/ark:/25593/bp20x

Abstract

In this dissertation, I examine the recent turn on the part of global health leaders to religious entities as allies in the response to the HIV pandemic. A cursory survey of this turn highlights how global health leaders have used the language of religious health assets to revalue the activities of religious entities. But a closer examination of this revaluation reveals how it obscures an important dimension of religious participation, namely, critical theo-ethical reflection. In the first part, I analyze changing understandings among global health policymakers, funders, and practitioners of the value of Christian religious entities. This analysis shows how the HIV pandemic has both intensified tensions between religion and global health and served as a catalyst for a renewed interest in the relationship between religion and health.The second part draws on the work of James Gustafson and Lisa Sowle Cahill to recover and expand a form of participatory theology that renders visible the distinctive role of critical theo-ethical reflection in the interpretation of and response to complex social issues like those animating global health. In the third part, I offer a historical and contemporary case study to highlight how processes of theo-ethical reflection have affected and been affected by participation in global health conversations, suggesting the possibility of processes of theo-ethical reflection as a religious health asset. I conclude by pointing toward the institutional commitments and arrangements necessary for recognizing theo-ethical reflection as a religious health asset and supporting a mutually generative encounter between Christian ethicists and persons responsible for setting the policies and priorities of global health.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

I. Introduction1

II. As the Global Health World Turns 9

III. Statement of the Problem 15

IV. Statement of the Thesis 16

V. Separate, but Not Equal: Religion and Health 18

In a Differentiated World

VI. Not Separate, but Equal 26

VII. Clarifying the Terms: Global Health, Religion

Religious Health Assets, Theo-Ethical Reflection 29

GLOBAL HEALTH

RELIGION

RELIGIOUS HEALTH ASSETS

THEO-ETHICAL REFLECTION

VIII. Chapter Outline47

IX. A Note on Sources 52

X. Conclusion 59

CHAPTER 2: CHRONIC TENSION, DIACHRONIC PANDEMIC: RELIGIOUS

MORALITY IN AN HIV-INFECTED WORLD

I. Introduction65

II. Scope and Scale-Up: The HIV Pandemic Today 68

III. Chronic Pandemic: The Paradox of Prevalence 69

IV. Religion and HIV: New Forms, Old Tensions 74

V. Conclusion 81

CHAPTER 3: APPRECIATING RELIGION AS A HEALTH ASSET: THE TURN

TO RELIGION IN AN HIV-INFECTED WORLD

I. Introduction 83

II. Religious Entities as Relevant 88

III. Theo-ethical Reflection for an HIV Competent Church 97

IV. Religious Entities as Desirable: Religion as a Health Asset 106

V. Religious Health Assets: A Critical Appreciation 123

VI. Conclusion 128

CHAPTER 4: THE POSSIBILITY OF THEO-ETHICAL PARTICIPATION:

PARTICIPANT THEOLOGIANS IN THE INTERSECTIONS

I. Introduction 132

II. The Persistence of James Gustafson 137

III. The Insistence of the Theo-ethical 141

IV. The Cheap Grace of Self-Doubt 149

V. Gustafson's Participant Theologian in the Intersection 157

VI. Feminist, Liberationist Christian Ethics in a Gustafsonian Key:

Lisa Sowle Cahill and Participatory Theological Bioethics 175

VII. Do, Don't Just Say, Something Theological 187

VIII. Conclusion 192

CHAPTER 5: PARTICIPATORY THEO-ETHICAL REFLECTION IN AN HIV-

INFECTED WORLD: A CONTEMPORARY CASE STUDY OF

THE MASANGANE INTEGRATED HIV TREATMENT

PROGRAM

I. Introduction 195

II. Locating Masangane in an HIV-Infected World:

Epidemiological and Socioeconomic Contexts 197

III. Evolution of the Masangane Program 202

ORIGIN STORY: MASANGANE AS CAREGIVER

COMMUNITY HEALTH: MASANGANE AND

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

EMBRACING MEDICINE: MASANGANE AS AN

INTEGRATED TREATMENT PROGRAM

IV. Embracing a Theology of Abundant Life for All 233

V. Conclusion 239

CHAPTER 6: THE RECOVERY OF PARTICIPANT THEOLOGIANS IN

GLOBAL HEALTH HISTORY: A CASE STUDY OF THE

CHRISTAN MEDICAL COMMISSION

I. Introduction 247

II. Christian Medical Commission: A Theological History 250

TUBINGEN I: THE HEALING CHURCH, OR THE

PRIESTHOOD OF ALL HEALERS

MEDICAL MISSIONS IN A POSTCOLONIAL CONTEXT

TUBINGEN II: HERE IS THE HEALING CHURCH, HERE

IS ITS STEEPLE, OPEN IT UP AND…?

III. Christian Medical Commission: An Institutional History 266

THEOLOGICAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH CRITIQUE OF

HOSPITAL-BASED MEDICAL MISSIONS

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF THE CMC

HEALTH FOR ALL! FOR A MOMENT, ANYWAY

IV. Conclusion 281

CHAPTER 7: THEO-ETHICAL REFLECTION AS A RELIGIOUS HEALTH

ASSET: IMPLICATIONS FOR PARTICIPANT THEOLOGIANS

AND GLOBAL HEALTH LEADERS IN TRANSDISCIPLINARY

SPACE

I. Introduction 287

II. Appreciating Theo-ethical Reflection as a Religious Health Asset 291

III. Getting a Sense of Transdisciplinary Praxis 297

IV. Toward Mutually Generative Conversations 301

TRAINING

RESEARCH

LEADERSHIP

V. Conclusion: Christian Ethics after Pentecost308

BIBLIOGRAPHY 312

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