Religions and the Human Spirit

Star of David, Congregation Shearith Israel, Atlanta

Coptic Cross, Cairo Mosque, Cairo Buddha, Carlos Museum, Atlanta Durga, Carlos Museum, Atlanta


Contemplative Studies

Religion, Society
& the Arts


Contemplative Studies



Drawing on faculty from the Medical School and the Graduate Division of Religion, in partnership with Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., the Contemplative Studies initiative combines scientific and humanistic research to measure and assess contemplative practices in relation to preventive healthcare. It will analyze their functioning within the larger field of mind-body interaction, and interpret their meaning in comparative social, historical and cultural contexts. It stands at the crossroads of religion and medicine, faithful and secular visions of human wholeness, monastic and modern ways of life, practices of contemplation and the routines of everyday living.

Four central goals make this initiative unique in the emerging field of religion and preventive health: (1) to describe and analyze for the first time the diversity of contemplative practices throughout the world in their particularity in creating the definitive Emory Encyclopedia of Contemplative Practices; (2) to test various health benefits of specific contemplative practices, notably in relation to clinical depression, in generating the Emory Research Database for Contemplative Practices; (3) to serve as a leading international educational resource for understanding and applying contemplative practices in both spiritual and healing contexts; and (4) to bring greater scholarly and public attention to contemplative practices and health.



John Dunne
Wendy Farley
Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi
Bobbi Patterson
Charles Raison


Teri Sivilli,



Department of Religion
Graduate Division of Religion
School of Theology
Emory College
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
School of Medicine
Emory-Tibet Partnership
Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc.
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322