News & Events

The Ethics of Suffering

Barfield Lecture Ad ColorRay Barfield, M.D., Ph.D., a faculty member of both the Duke Medical and Duke Divinity schools, and Dr. Guy Sayles, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, will be the guest lecturers for the spring 2015 Presidential Lecture, titled "The Ethics of Suffering: Reintroducing Love Into (Medical) Decision-Making." The lecture will take place on April 27, at 7 pm in Moore Auditorium. It will be free and open to the public.

During the lecture, Barfield and Sayles will consider the tension between the medical establishment and the human condition. They will deal with the "medicalization" of suffering, as well as the importance of truthfulness, compassion, hope, and calling in the midst of suffering.

Barfield is associate professor of pediatrics and Christian philosophy, as well as a pediatric oncologist. His current work at Duke focuses on building bridges of understanding and collaboration between theology and medicine. In the Divinity School, he teaches courses in Christian philosophy, ethics, and the relationship of theology and science. He is the director of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture initiative. He is also the author of numerous articles and publications in medicine, philosophy and poetry.

Sayles is a writer, teacher, and consultant. He recently ended 13 years of service as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, is an adjunct member of the faculty of the Divinity School at Gardner-Webb University, and is a consultant affiliated with the Center for Healthy Churches. He’s also a board member of Baptist Center for Ethics. This fall, he will join the religion faculty of Mars Hill University.

The event is sponsored jointly by the president's office and the Ethics Across the Curriculum Program at Mars Hill University. It is a part of the Presidential Lecture and Performance Series, which complements Mars Hill University’s emphasis on the liberal arts by bringing distinguished and knowledgeable individuals to lecture on a wide range of topics and to provide high quality performances in the cultural arts.