Baylor’s Jeff Levin Named a Fellow of Prestigious International Society

May 8, 2019
Jeff Levin

Jeff Levin, Ph.D., M.P.H.

(Photo by Morty Ortega/Baylor University)

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Waco, Texas (May 8, 2019) — Baylor scientist Jeff Levin, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been invited to become a Fellow of the prestigious International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR), a multidisciplinary learned society based at Cambridge University.

Founded in 2002, ISSR is the world’s preeminent scholarly organization devoted to the intersection of science and religion. The Society has only about 200 Fellows, mostly from the physical and biological sciences, philosophy, history and theology. Levin is one of the few Fellows with a background in the biomedical sciences.

Levin, an epidemiologist and religious scholar, holds a distinguished chair at Baylor, where he is University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, professor of medical humanities and director of the Program on Religion and Population Health at the Institute for Studies of Religion. He also serves as adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and as an affiliated member of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Levin is a founding father of the field of research devoted to the influence of religious faith and spirituality on physical and mental health. He has been conducting studies on this subject since the early 1980s. He came to Baylor in 2009.

Levin’s work “is the culmination of a lifetime of diligent scholarship, for which he is rightly renowned worldwide, said Stephen G. Post, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University, and an ISSR Fellow.

“It is hard to imagine that any one scholar could have made such a pioneering contribution across this interface, but Jeff has been digging deep for nearly 40 learned years,” Post said.
Levin’s colleagues at Baylor were excited to hear about this honor.

“This is an amazing honor for a world-class scholar. This recognition is a true testament to his many important publications and remarkable career,” said Byron Johnson, Ph.D., co-director of ISR and Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences.

Among the ISSR’s distinguished Fellows are several Templeton Prize laureates, Gifford lecturers and leading academic scientists and theologians in Europe and North America.

“I never expected this and wasn’t sure I was even on their radar,” Levin said. “The science and religion field has become a major intellectual endeavor, but the subject of religion and health up to now has not really been acknowledged by the field or accepted in it. So this is a first—an honor for me, for sure, but also recognition of the work that so many of my colleagues and I have been doing since the 1980s.”

Levin has been published in more 220 scholarly publications, including 11 books. His most recent book is “Religion and Medicine: A History of the Encounter Between Humanity’s Two Greatest Institutions,” forthcoming this fall from Oxford University Press.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) initiates, supports and conducts research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The Institutes mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict.