Dr. Harold Koenig, the director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at Duke University and one of the leading researchers in the field of Religion and Medicine advocates for a change in the current medical system that incorporates religion and spirituality. Koenig argues that because religion is so influential to patients’ ability to cope with illness, it must be addressed in patient care in order for the patient to have a successful recovery. In order to make his theory appear viable he tries to prove through scientific research that religion has a beneficial effect on people’s health. To this date, Koenig has published more than 35 books and over 280 articles on this topic. The aim of this thesis project was to take a close examination of Koenig’s theory of why religion should be introduced into the medical world and the method in which he takes to prove this theory. What I will argue is that although I agree that medical care needs to be changed in order to meet more than just the physical needs of patients, Koenig’s approach to do this by scientifically proving the health benefits of religion through his published books is unconvincing as well as ineffective in benefiting patients.
Includes bibliographical references.