Request for Research Proposals:
Religion and Health: Effects,
Mechanisms, and Interpretation
Summary and Progress
Between 2007 and 2010, Duke University’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health
conducted a Request for Research Proposals (RFP) entitled Religion
and Health: Effects, Mechanisms, and Interpretation for research
to elucidate how religion/spirituality influences individual and
community health. This RFP focused on the health effects of active
involvement in faith communities (religious attendance, worship,
altruistic and caring activities).
In response to the RFP, the Center received 232 letters of intent. From these, 40 finalists were chosen to submit full proposals. These proposals were reviewed and judged by a panel of scholars, and the seven winners of the $200,000 grants were chosen. The research was conducted within a time span of two years beginning in 2008. Please follow the link below to see a list of the awardees and learn about the projects.
The goals of this research were to (1) document effects on health (where health is broadly defined), (2) clarify the biological, social, psychological mechanisms involved, and (3) interpret what the findings mean for individual, congregational, and community health through trans-disciplinary collaboration and deliberation. This research has advanced scientific understanding of the mechanisms by which spirituality may impact on health. It builds on previous findings regarding the association between religious attendance and health and enhances our ability to interpret these findings through the engagement of multiple disciplines including theology and others.
To watch videos of award winners presenting their initial findings from these projects, click HERE and scroll down to June 15, Tuesday Preconference presentations.