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Program on Religion and Population Health (PRPH)

Director
Dr. Jeff Levin
Director of PRPH

The mission of the Baylor ISR Program on Religion and Population Health (PRPH) is to conduct and promote social, behavioral, and epidemiologic research on the impact of religious involvement on indicators of population health. These indicators include population-wide rates of morbidity, mortality, and disability and personal and population-wide measures of physical and mental health status, general well-being, and aging. Investigations are grounded in theory and methods drawn from the fields of sociology, psychology, epidemiology, and social demography. Special emphasis is given to longitudinal, gerontological, and life-course research; to age, gender, social class, and racial and ethnic variation; and to underinvestigated religious populations.

Scholarly work by the Director of PRPH, Dr. Jeff Levin, and his associates focuses on (a) epidemiologic research on religion and population health in national and international samples, (b) social and gerontological research on religion among underinvestigated populations (especially Jewish and African-American respondents), (c) empirical research on the health impact of faith-based other-regarding attitudes and behaviors (primarily altruistic and compassionate love), and (d) historical and theoretical studies of religious themes related to complementary and alternative medicine, mind-body healing, and spirituality and consciousness. Dr. Levin also has additional interest in larger themes at the interface of theology and medicine, in the construction of a scholarly field around the intersection of Judaism and health, and in contributing to the national conversation on the role of faith and faith-based initiatives in health policy.

Dr. Levin and PRPH have a variety of ongoing projects. These include (a) conducting social and epidemiologic research on Judaism and population health, (b) formulating a role for faith-based resources in the national and global health policy arenas, and (c) writing scholarly papers and reviews on various subjects, especially the work of healers. Links to these projects are found below.

Judaism and Population Health Research

Faith-Based Initiatives in Health Policy

Research on Healers and Healing