Boston Medical Center - Boston Healing Landscape Project

Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center, Suite 1025
85 East Newton Street
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617/414-4534
Fax: 617/414-3679
Web address:

Contact Person:

Dr. Linda L. Barnes

Organization Description:

Originally inspired by the Pluralism Project developed by Diana L. Eck at Harvard University to study and document the growing religious diversity of the United States, the Boston Healing Landscape Project, located in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, represents a complementary sister initiative to examine how, over the past fifty years, the medical landscape of the U.S. has changed in corresponding ways. This richly textured world of healing represents the face of culturally and religiously grounded complementary and alternative medicine in America. It poses the challenge to the medical community of shaping a positive response to the multiple approaches to healing being pursued by patients and their families. The projects of the BHLP are designed to respond to the cultural and religious worldviews of a multicultural, religiously diverse patient population, and to help develop resources that will enable clinicians to understand these worldviews and experiences more deeply, in the interest of a justice-based medicine. This coming year's projects will focus on the collection of oral histories from different religious and cultural communities, although other projects are also possible (see below).

Opportunities for Student Involvement:

In ongoing consultation with their site supervisor, students will develop a local project that involves the fields of religions, medicines and healing, and that explores intersections between the cultural, religious, and therapeutic. Although a range of projects are possible, our current priority involves the collecting of oral histories from community members. Related activities include learning to gather an oral history, and may include field research like attending worship services or religious sites and activities meaningful to the person, and reading background material that will help understand this person’s life experience. Students will develop skills connected to networking, alliance building, and interviewing.

Commute/Transportation Information:

The No. 1 bus runs directly from Harvard Square to the corner of Albany Street and Mass. Ave., about three blocks from our office, and takes a little over half an hour.

Arts of Ministry Competencies Offered:

  • Administration and Program Development
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development


Weekly with supervisor. A personal journal will be encouraged. Supervisor will encourage theological reflection related to working in religiously and culturally diverse contexts. Site supervisors are BHLP Director Linda Barnes and Assistant Director Lance Laird.

Additional Information:

  • Number of Students: 2
  • Total Compensation: $6000.00
  • Type of Compensation: Work Study
  • Additional Notes: Terms of Placement: Fifteen hours per week. Days and hours are worked out in consultation with the supervisor. Transportation costs not included.

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