Interfaith America’s Patel, in rescheduled ILS program, to discuss intersection of health, faith


James Buckser
Staff writer

After travel delays and schedule changes, Eboo Patel will speak today at 2 p.m. as a part of the  Chautauqua Institution’s Interfaith Lecture Series and its Week Three theme “Health and Faith: Considering the Center of Wellbeing in America,” held in partnership with Interfaith America.

Patel is the founder of Interfaith America, an organization aiming, according to its website, to “unlock the potential of America’s religious diversity,” and is collaborating with the Institution to host this week’s Interfaith Lecture programming. Patel was set to open the week on Monday; Wendy Cadge delivered that day’s Interfaith Lecture instead.

An author and an educator, Patel is a former member of President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and longtime friend of the Institution. 

Melissa Spas, vice president of religion at Chautauqua, called this relationship “incredibly productive.”

Patel will address public health, mental health and “individual experiences of wellness and illness” as they relate to Interfaith America’s mission, Spas said.

“It’s sort of a broad topic,” she said. “But all focused on that intersection of faith or spirituality with health-related concerns.”

While Spas said this talk will be Patel’s only public event, Chautauqua Institution is playing host to a group of representatives this week from Interfaith America, who are having their own discussions on the intersection of faith and health.

The partnership between the two organizations has been valuable, she said, “not only in programming this week together, but sort of more broadly, in expanding our network and helping us to think creatively about some of the frontiers or edges of faith and health work.”


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