Biography and Education
Terri Laws completed the doctorate of philosophy in Religious Studies with a concentration in African American Religions at Rice University. Dr. Laws employs theories and methods from the social sciences to investigate questions in race, religion, and society with healthcare and health inequities as her institutional focus. The aim of her research agenda is to contribute to the body of knowledge that reduces health inequity through the investigation of social and cultural factors.
Professor Laws is particularly interested in decision making in the clinical setting influenced by spirituality. Laws currently serves as a member of the Ethics Advisory Board of Bon Secours Health System and is a past member of the Ethics Committee at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She is a member of the health disparities faculty for ReBUILDetroit, a National Institutes of Health collaboration Detroit area universities seeking to attract undergraduate students from underrepresented communities to biomedical careers.
Professor Laws’ presentation, lecturing, and teaching crosses her various areas of research and includes courses in the areas of African American religious experience, medical ethics, Black and Womanist theology, medical sociology, and introduction to African American Studies. She recently published “Tuskegee as Sacred Rhetoric: Focal Point for the Emergent Field of African American Religion and Health” in the Journal of Religion and Health. She is a co-author of Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats: Churches and Hip-Hop, a Basic guide to Key Issues (Fortress Press, 2014). Dr. Laws is currently writing a race, religion and bioethics manuscript on African American religion and health.
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