Lynn Underwood to bring combined interests of art, science, faith to Interfaith Lecture Series

Lynn Underwood

Lynn Underwood has a lot of interests, in both her personal and professional life. Currently a senior research associate at the Inamori International Center for Ethics at Case Western Reserve University, she researches stress, social support, quality of life, compassionate love, neuroethics and spirituality, through the lenses of science and the arts. 

She studied for 20 years with the novice master of a Benedictine Abbey, has a philosophical interest in epistemology, and has taught courses on neuroethics. 

She brings all of these varied interests and expertises to Week Three of the Interfaith Lecture Series and the topic “Ethics and Meaning-Making Beyond Faith” with her lecture at 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy.

“Art is my passion, but my practical bent took me to the sciences for medical school and my Ph.D.,” Underwood wrote on her website. “I kept up my study of art over the years and continue to do art, which for me is a spiritual practice, too. My science research was driven by a desire to include the whole messy person in medical and social scientific studies.” 

Underwood’s books include Spiritual Connection in Daily Life, and co-edited books such as Social Support Measurement and Intervention and The Science of Compassionate Love. She conducts workshops using a set of 16 questions she developed, called the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, helping people to dive more deeply into the ordinary experiences of spiritual connection in their days and communicate with others.

This scale — which can also predict things like less burnout and addiction, and more resiliency — has been translated into over 40 languages, works for those from religious and non-religious backgrounds, and is used in hundreds of studies. 

Underwood works with organizations who are interested in the spiritual dimension of their work and has consulted on research projects with institutions like Harvard, Yale and the University of Connecticut, as well as internationally. Her current research and writing is focused on how difficult circumstances can enable us to flourish. 

She has been a professor of biomedical humanities, and a vice president for research programs for a private foundation. 

With a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Queen’s University in the United Kingdom, Underwood was an elected member of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Rehabilitation Research of the NIH, was awarded a Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship, and coordinated a project on quality of life at the World Health Organization.

Tags : Benedictine AbbeyEthics and Meaning-Making Beyond Faithinterfaith lectureInterfaith Lecture Series PreviewLynn UnderwoodreligionSocial Support Measurement and InterventionSpiritual Connection in Daily Life

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