Navigating Health Decisions in Uganda: Ancestral Relationships & Catholic Social Thought

October 12, 2022 | 11:00am-1:00pm PST

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How do the fields of neurology, philosophy, and theology converge when considering behavioral health patterns in Uganda?  Join a lunch-time conversation about healthcare and the humanities.  Our Lo Schiavo Chair for ’22-’23, Dr. Cyrus P. Olsen III, D.Phil. (Oxon.), shall share his research and welcome feedback concerning the new three-year Templeton-funded collaboration with Amar Dhand, M.D., D.Phil. (Oxon.) and Ian Marcus Corbin, PhD and their Neurology Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (a precis of the research will be shared with participants in advance to optimize conversation about the work).  Together with our Ugandan research council, we are using a philosophical framework provided by Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (2007) to distinguish among worldviews, hence our working title: “Buffering, Porosity, and Brain Health in Uganda and the USA.”  Religiously-inclined humans remain open to the idea that what is beyond immediate empirical comprehension may still influence human life and health.  More empirically-inclined humans set stricter boundaries of what influences our lives.  At times, worldviews of these kinds compete for our attention.  We are looking at the ways community beliefs impact health-seeking behavior among Ugandans, especially beliefs about the ancestors presumed still to be influencing health and well-being.

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