Koenig, Harold G. 1951-
KOENIG, Harold G. 1951-
Born December 25, 1951, in Lodi, CA. Education: Stanford University, B.S., 1974; San Joaquin Delta Nursing School, R.N., 1980; University of California—San Francisco, M.D., 1982; attended University of Missouri—Columbia, 1982-85; Duke University, M.H.Sc., 1989.
Home—415 Clarion Dr., Durham, NC 27705-1818. Office—Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3400, Durham, NC 27702-3400.
Physician, author, and educator. Duke University, Durham, NC, clinical assistant professor, 1992-93, assistant professor, 1993-96, associate professor of psychiatry, associate professor of medicine, 1996—, senior fellow at Aging Center, 1992—, and director of Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health. Federal Correctional Center, Butner, NC, research psychiatrist, 1992-93; Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Clinic, director of psychiatric services; private practice of psychiatry. Shepherd's Centers of America, member of board of directors, 1997—; John Templeton Foundation, member of board of advisers, 1995-2000; Haworth Pastoral Press, executive editor. Speaker at colleges and universities; guest on media programs, including ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, CNN World Today, and programs of the Voice of America, National Public Radio, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Vatican Radio, and other outlets in the United States and abroad.
American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, Gerontological Society of America.
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry fellow, 1990-92; grants from Counsel on Ministries in a Special Setting, 1991 and 1992, and National Institute of Mental Health, 1993; named "Tar Heel of the Week," News and Observer, Raleigh, NC, 1998; grants from Retirement Research Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Fetzer Foundation, Arthur Vining David Foundation, and Mary Biddle-Duke Foundation.
(With M. Smiley and J. Gonzales) Religion, Health, and Aging, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1988.
Aging and God: Spiritual Paths to Mental Health in Midlife and Later Years, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1994.
Research on Religion and Aging, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1995.
(With A. J. Weaver) Counseling Troubled Older Adults: A Handbook for Pastors and Religious Caregivers, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1997.
(With T. Lamar and B. Lamar) A Gospel for the Mature Years: Finding Fulfillment by Knowing and Using Your Gift, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1997.
Is Religion Good for Your Health? The Effects of Religion on Physical and Mental Health, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(With A. J. Weaver) Pastoral Care of Older Adults, Augsburg-Fortress (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.
(Editor, with A. J. Weaver and P. Roe) Reflections on Aging and Spiritual Growth, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1998.
(Editor) Handbook of Religion and Mental Health, Academic Press (San Diego, CA), 1998.
The Healing Power of Faith: Science Explores Medicine's Last Great Frontier, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Gregg Lewis) The Healing Connection: A World-Renowned Medical Scientist Discovers the Powerful Link between Christian Faith and Health, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2000.
(With Michael E. McCullough and David B. Larson) Handbook of Religion and Health, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor, with Harvey Jay Cohen) The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Purpose and Power in Retirement: New Opportunities for Meaning and Significance, Templeton Foundation Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.
Spirituality in Patient Care: Why, How, When, and What, Templeton Foundation Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.
(With Verna Benner Carson) Parish Nursing: Stories of Service and Care, Templeton Foundation Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.
(With A. J. Weaver and Linda A. Revilla) Counseling Families across the Stages of Life: A Handbook for Pastors and other Helping Professionals, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN), 2002.
Chronic Pain: Biomedical and Spiritual Approaches, Haworth Pastoral Press (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Chester L. Tolson) The Healing Power of Prayer, Baker Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003.
Contributor to books, including Spirituality and Religion in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, edited by R. D. Fallott, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 1998; Clinician's Rapid Access Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine, edited by D. Novey, Mosby (St. Louis, MO), 1999; and Clinical Handbook of Pastoral Counseling, edited by R. J. Wicks and others, Paulist Press (New York, NY), 1999. Contributor to medical journals, including Archives of Family Medicine, International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, and Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, and to religious periodicals, including Theology News, United Methodist Review, and Christian Ministry. Special issue editor, Health Education and Behavior; member of editorial boards of International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, Aging and Mental Health, Journal of Religious Gerontology, and Journal of Pastoral Care.
Physician and psychiatrist Harold G. Koenig is best known for his books about the link between religion and health. The idea of such a link was, for the most part, dismissed until a number of articles, including Koenig's, supporting such a connection appeared in scientific journals in the late 1980s. Koenig has long held that faith enables the ill, particularly the elderly, to fight disease and depression.
Archibald D. Hart reviewed Koenig's The Healing Power of Faith: Science Explores Medicine's Last Great Frontier in Christianity Today, noting that "using both anecdotal and research data, he demonstrates that there is ample evidence to show that people who regularly attend church, pray, read, and put into practice what the Bible and their faith teaches are overall healthier." Koenig finds that people of faith have lower blood pressure, recover from surgery faster, are hospitalized less often, and are generally more healthy and likely to live longer. Hart praised the book, but he did have some questions. "For example, are the health benefits of religion caused in large part by the lifestyle and general beliefs generated by all religions? Diet (especially the avoidance of nicotine and alcohol), moral codes, coping styles, meditation, and many other specifically religious factors and behaviors need to be pinpointed in future studies," he asserted.
Koenig coauthored the book, Handbook of Religion and Health, an eight-part volume summarizing the history of spirituality and health, with Michael E. McCullough, and David B. Larson. The book debates the issue, reviews contemporary research on health services and mental and physical health as they relate to religion, and makes recommendations for research and practice. Paul R. Mchugh reviewed the volume in First Things, saying that the authors "readily admit that little rigorous scientific research has been done to demonstrate the effects of religious practice on health. Indeed, most of the beneficial findings they report are anecdotal or serendipitous. But even these discoveries are so modest that they hardly warrant further elaboration in methodical studies." Mchugh went on to say, "And yet, the authors are highly ambitious. They are riding a wave of interest in exploring how physical conditions, such as vulnerability to infection and persistence of chronic immunologic illness, may be tied to emotional states and environmental stressors."
The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor focuses on the science that studies how psychological and social factors affect endocrine and immune functions. The book grew from a meeting of physicians, theologians, and scientists who met to study the subject. Writing in the British Medical Journal, Michael Saunders was troubled with the book's theory that "interventions could be administered to already religious persons to help increase their religiousness." Saunders asserted that "there is something fundamentally wrong here. Religious faith is reduced to farce if it is perceived as utilitarian. Genuine religious faith is not pursued because it may help health outcomes. To be fair to the authors, the book recognizes this, but there are lapses."
Koenig and Verna Benner Carson penned Parish Nursing: Stories of Service and Care. The term "parish nursing" was so named by Reverend Granger Westberg, who resurrected the holistic approach in the 1980s. The authors define a parish nursing program and how it might be implemented, using existing examples of successful church programs. They include interviews with nurses who provide such care, as well as sources for grant funding and the names of relevant organizations, publications, and books.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Journal of Psychiatry, August, 2001, review of The Healing Power of Faith: Science Explores Medicine's Last Great Frontier, p. 1347.
British Medical Journal, April 27, 2002, Michael Saunders, review of The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor, p. 1043.
Choice, October, 2001, review of Handbook of Religion and Health, p. 328.
Christianity Today, November 15, 1999, Archibald D. Hart, review of The Healing Power of Faith, p. 101.
Christian Science Monitor, April 8, 1999, review of The Healing Power of Faith, p. 21.
Contemporary Psychology, April, 2001, review of Handbook of Religion and Mental Health, p. 185.
First Things, November, 2001, Paul R. Mchugh, review of Handbook of Religion and Health, p. 54.
Interpretation, April, 1999, review of Pastoral Care of Older Adults, p. 223.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, September, 2001, Leonard Duhl, review of Handbook of Religion and Health, p. 688.
Library Journal, May 15, 2002, Margaret K. Norden, review of Parish Nursing: Stories of Service and Care, p. 118; September 15, 2002, review of Purpose and Power in Retirement: New Opportunities for Meaning and Significance, p. 80.
New Yorker, September 17, 2001, review of Handbook of Religion and Health, p. 165.
Publishers Weekly, February 15, 1999, review of The Healing Power of Faith, p. 100; March 22, 1999, review of The Healing Power of Faith, p. 83.*