About Us

Religion, Health, and Humanities Researchers (RHHR) exists to cultivate scholarship in the humanities and social sciences at the intersection of religion, spirituality, and health by fostering cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations and increasing the exposure of research in these areas.

The RHHR was first founded in early 2022 when Adam Powell, a Lecturer of Religion and Medical Humanities at Durham University, took to Twitter to gauge interest in a new research network that would bring like-minded individuals together around issues of spirituality, religion, and health. Having spent several years working on large collaborative medical humanities projects, Powell saw a need for more attention on spirituality and religion among the scholars and organisations comprising the field. Medical humanities was growing in size and influence, in part as a result of calls for the humanities to justify their existence, but the desire for a fulsome account of human experience that held much of the field together too often seemed to discard or disregard experiences of transcendence or ultimate meaning. Powell’s tweet, simply asking if anyone else felt similarly and would be interested in a new network, quickly received affirmative responses from nearly 100 researchers across the globe. In March 2022, the RHHR Leadership Team was formed, and planning began.

The network maintains an email listserv which acts as the membership list, currently boasting members from five continents. Members are encouraged to use the listserv to connect with others in the network, promote activities and outputs of relevance, and to learn about exciting developments from international colleagues.

“The RHHR serves multiple needs, pushing scholars of religion to further engage the quickly growing field of medical humanities and encouraging medical humanities to take advantage of the critical approaches of the academic study of religion.”

Dr. Kristy Slominski