Who We Are
Stephen G. Post, PhD, Institute President (stephengpost.com), is a researcher and scholar in the health and social sciences, philosophy, and religion. He is a best-selling author whose work was included in Best American Spiritual Writing (2005). He has taught at the University of Chicago, Fordham-Marymount, Case Western Reserve University, and Stony Brook University. Post is an elected member of the Philadelphia College of Physicians for “outstanding contributions to medicine,” the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of Medicine. He received the national Pioneer Medal for “outstanding leadership in healthcare” from HealthCare Chaplaincy, the Certificate of Special Recognition form the United States Congress, the national Distinguished Service Award from the Alzheimer’s & Associated Disorders Association, and was an elected University Fellow at the University of Chicago. His book The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease (John Hopkins University Press, 1995/2000) was selected as a “medical classic of the 20th century” by the British Medical Journal. Johns Hopkins University Press published his most recent book on this topic in May 2022, Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease. Joseph B. Martin, MD, Dean Emeritus, Harvard Medical School, wrote, “In this serious and also uplifting book we can feel Post’s passion for the ‘dignity of deeply forgetful people,’ learn to notice and appreciate their expressions of continuing self-identity, and include them in our moral vision of a shared humanity worthy of equal respect and care. Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters, added, "Stephen Post writes tenderly, lovingly, and wisely about those among us with failing mental faculties. His message reflects the view that we are conscious in spite of what our brain may be doing, and that it is human consciousness that is fundamental to our dignity, even if our cognitive strengths have weakened.” It has been my feeling for decades that truly “nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:31), not even deep forgetfulness. Post is the Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, where Matthew T. Lee is a Distinguished Visiting Professor.
Matthew T. Lee, PhD, (www.iq.harvard.edu/people/matthew-t-lee), Institute Vice President, is Professor of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He is also Director of the Flourishing Network at the Human Flourishing Program in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, where he is appointed as a Research Associate. He serves as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Health, Flourishing, and Positive Psychology at Stony Brook University’s Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, and as a Visiting Scholar at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He previously served as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity and as President of the North Central Sociological Association. His research explores topics such as flourishing and well-being, benevolent service to others, and the integration of social science and the humanities. His work has been published in a variety of academic disciplines, in journals such as the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Journal of Positive Psychology, Social Science & Medicine, and the Journal of Transformative Education. He is the lead editor of Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities and lead author of The Heart of Religion: Spiritual Empowerment, Benevolence, and the Experience of God’s Love, both published by Oxford University Press. His forthcoming, co-edited book is titled, Transcending Crisis: Carework, Emotions, and Human Flourishing (Routledge).
The Institute is formed by volunteers, with no one receiving salary support. It is strictly a labor of love. We all have important paying “day jobs” that contribute to our theme through various university and teaching positions, so as not to let our work become siloed. Each year the Institute receives contributions from its faithful supporters.