Interfaith Dialogue and Sir William Osler

Jonathan Kopel, Mark Webb, Carmine Gorga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


None: In recent years, the US has become extensively polarized across social, political, and religious divides. As the cultural, political, and social divides continue to grow, the medical establishment has shown similar divisions between clinicians and patients. However, an inclusive dialogue that recognizes the intellectual and interpersonal boundaries of opposing groups and traditions would provide an avenue toward mutual understanding and further collaboration toward a common goal and solution. One such method for building bridges between opposing groups can be found in interfaith dialogue. The goal of interfaith dialogue is not merely to exchange pleasantries but also to develop a mutual collaboration addressing moral and ethical issues with a unified voice. This is achieved through moving beyond separation and suspicion, inquiring more deeply, sharing both the easy and the difficult parts, moving beyond safe territory, and exploring spiritual practices from other traditions. A physician who exemplified many aspects interfaith dialogue in his clinical practice was the late Sir William Osler. Through examining Osler's application of interfaith dialogue, we may develop a framework by which clinicians can actively build new bridges and dialogue between their patients and society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalThe Permanente journal
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


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