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Bioethics and Religion Unit and Religions, Medicines, and Healing Unit

Call for Proposals

Regulation of pain / pain in bodies / medicine & opioid crisis

This panel will explore peoples’ regulation of pain and relationship to substance use. Framing questions might include: How might religious responses to pain be explicitly framed as alternatives to pharmaceuticals? How do religious communities’ use of relationship to cannabis, ayahuasca, peyote offer therapeutic healing in spiritual crises? What happens when these substances are removed from their religious context in a capitalist-driven act of appropriation? To what extent do people’ use of pain medication lead to abuse of substances such as opioids? How might this drug abuse (especially with the opioid crisis) derive from people’s experience of spiritual fatigue or even a spiritual void? Are some religious responses to pain explicitly framed as an alternative to pharmaceuticals? Keeping in mind the xenophobic histories that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and Latinx peoples in the U.S., how does this affect people of color’s cultural and religious relationship to substances? How might we account for the structural and racial inequality in the appropriation of therapeutics developed by religious devotees of color?



Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection