WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Medicine and healing have long been intertwined with faith, prayer and spiritual practices. In more recent years, the debate about the nature of the relationship between medicinal science and religion has intensified. In their informative new book, "Spirituality and Medicine: Can the Two Walk Together?" (published by AuthorHouse), experts Glenda F. Hodges, Ph.D., J.D., M.Div., and Harold B. Betton, M.D., Ph.D., offer an account of their professional and personal experiences as religious doctors.
Divided into five chapters, "Spirituality and Medicine" introduces legal issues surrounding death and dying and examines tools physicians use to understand a patient's spiritual side. The authors also present an historical discussion about the spiritual aspects of medicine in major world religions. Concepts of faith and prayer are presented and research on their effects is explored. Burnout and abuse in the healing professions is discussed, and the book concludes with a discussion of the soul from scientific and theological perspectives.
"Much attention has been given to an understanding of science and faith and how they connect," the authors write. "This book gives conversation to this connection and allows the readers to appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of healing. Many persons testify to medical miracles and how they have been touched by the same in the midst of various illnesses. The book details several testimonies that are worthy of reading -- with an open mind."
Glenda F. Hodges, Ph.D., J.D., M.Div., is the director of community relations at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. In 1998, Dr. Hodges, along with Robert H. Williams, M.D., hosted the hospital's first spirituality and medicine seminar series. These seminars have been held annually ever since. As an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. Hodges has been "up close and personal" with parishioners and patients who have struggled to understand the presence of a higher power during their battles against various illnesses. Although a serious academician with five university degrees, Dr. Hodges is quite relaxed in her role as hospital administrator at Howard University Hospital and extremely passionate about the union of spirituality and medicine.
Harold B. Betton, B.S., M.S., M.D., M.A., Ph.D., is a family practitioner in Little Rock, Ark. He is in his 31st year of practice and in his 15th year as pastor of New Light Baptist Church in Little Rock. He and his two associates conduct more than 26,000 patient visits annually.
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