David B. Larson

David B. Larson, M.D., was a psychiatrist trained at Duke, who founded and directed the National Institute for Healthcare Research and was a leader in the religion and health research field. He died suddenly at the young age of 54 on March 5, 2002. The David B. Larson Memorial Lecture was established in 2003 to honor Dr. Larson’s pioneering work.

David B. Larson Memorial Lecture

The 22nd Annual David B. Larson Memorial Lecture will be held Thursday, March 7, 2024.  The speaker, Keith G. Meador, MD, ThM, MPH, is the Anne Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics and Professor of  Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  The title, location and time of the lecture are listed below. All are welcome and no reservation is required.  Contact Dr. Koenig (Harold.Koenig@duke.edu) for more information.

Title:  Threading the Needle: Ethically Responsible Spiritually Informed Care

Brief Summary
: This lecture will examine the use of the language of “spiritual” and “spirituality” in American culture and how it has evolved in relationship to health and human flourishing discourse historically. Focusing on the “religion and health” conversation of recent years we will explore some of the virtues as well as the challenges of this conversation within modern commodified health care and spirituality. While the inclusion of religion and spirituality as variables of consideration in medical and health research over the last three decades has been notable for its exponential growth, the conflation of language and lack of clarity as to the most appropriate dependent variable in this effort and its measurement is a persistent issue. Dr. Meador will reflect on some of the ethical implications of the challenges raised by this work and examine “care” as a potential primary paradigmatic axis to help us responsibly engage the practice of spiritually informed care in a pluralistic healthcare context.

Thursday, March 7, 2024
5:30 – 6:30PM (in-person only) (not being recorded or broadcast remotely)
Duke Divinity School, 0116 Westbrook Lecture Hall

Presented by: Keith G. Meador, MD, ThM, MPH

Keith G. Meador, MD, ThM, MPH
is is the Anne Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics and Professor of  Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he is the Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society giving leadership to the educational, clinical consultative and research agenda for biomedical ethics at VUMC. He also serves as Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt Divinity School and is the Director of Integrative Mental Health, a national initiative to foster integration of chaplaincy services into mental health care within the Department of Veterans Affairs that partners with Vanderbilt Divinity School to offer a DMin in Integrative Chaplaincy. He is a physician and board certified psychiatrist with training in theology and public health having completed his residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in aging and human development at Duke University. His theological education leading to the ThM was at Duke Divinity School and he received his MPH in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.


Past Lectures & Pictures