April 18, 2016


Presentation addresses religion’s use of medical language

Methodist Theological School in Ohio will host a presentation on the intersection of Christianity and medicine, and the way language is used and misused in this context. Jennifer Stockwell will present “Ministries of the Body: A Talk on Christianity and Health in the 21st Century” at 1 p.m. May 4 in the Alford Centrum on the MTSO campus, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware. It is free and open to the public.

“On Easter Sunday 2015, I listened to a leader at a progressive church begin her sermon by comparing Holy Week to cancer,” Stockwell said. “This comparison is familiar in the Christian tradition; leaders have often taught theological tenets through images and language borrowed from medicine and the health sciences.”

“As a graduate student studying the way language works at the intersection of medicine and religion, I find these metaphors fascinating and, often, deeply troubling,” she said. “I want to encourage leaders to be more responsible about the language they borrow from medicine.”

Stockwell holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from MTSO. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This talk is presented by the Theological Commons at MTSO, which promotes the sharing of knowledge and experience between students, faculty, clergy and the public for the benefit of all participants and those they serve.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio prepares leaders of many faith traditions for lives of lasting significance in service to the church and the world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling ministries, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree. 


Danny Russell, director of communications
drussell@mtso.edu, 740-362-3322