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Nathaniel Wharton Professor of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center

Stephen M. Kellen Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2008

Richard Sloan is Nathaniel Wharton Professor of Behavioral Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. His principal work focuses on identifying the autonomic nervous-system mechanisms linking psychological risk factors such as depression, hostility, and anxiety to heart disease.


Sloan and his colleagues have explored and criticized the purported links between religion, spirituality, and health that have appeared in popular and medical publications. They have examined the empirical basis of the claim that religious activity promotes health and identified significant ethical, practical, and even theological problems associated with making religious activity an adjunctive medical procedure. Sloan is the author of Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine (St. Martin’s Press, 2008), and contributes regularly to a variety of medical research journals.

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