Holy Rood House

Time and Space for Creative Thinking

Introducing The Centre for the Study of Theology and Health

The CSTH was established in December 2000 as part of the ministry of Holy Rood House, Centre for Health and Pastoral Care.  It is a place for learning, reflecting and flourishing. All the work of the community of Holy Rood House is held within a prayerful and theologically reflective framework. Please click here for leaflet.

 Aims and Objectives of the Centre

To encourage research and reflection on the relationship between theology and all areas of health and healing.

To arrange seminars, conferences, research days and workshops in all areas that relate to health and healing. Our Annual Hildegard Lecture is held on a Friday evening followed by a Saturday workshop.

To encourage a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of theology and health.

To co-operate with similar institutions and places of Higher Education in arranging and/or supporting training courses which further the aims and objectives of the Centre.

To encourage and support co-operation between academic research and praxis.

Training for professional individuals and groups, for example, clergy, ordinands, social workers, voluntary agencies. We cover a breadth of areas for example trauma, self-care, introduction to counselling skills and aspects of spirituality. The training we offer relates to our daily work towards the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

                                        There is NO GROVEL THEOLOGY HERE!

At the Centre we work with a four-fold model of health to which we have given the title:

             An Ecology of Health

Ecology health acknowledges the interconnectedness of creation. It recognises that fulfilment through a sustainable vision of planetary well-being. Focus is placed upon the environmental factors that constitute health and ill health, while the inclusiveness of this heading gives rise to our overall theological categorisation of health as an ecology of balanced relationships.

Global health emphasises the global community and the socio-political dimensions of health. Here, the pursuit of peace and justice are seen as fundamental to any understanding of health and healing. we are particularly concerned to emphasise, and contribute to, a culture of peace and justice in contrast to a culture of violence, and we seek to do this by challenging both the logic and practice of retribution ideologies whether in their theological or secular forms.

Personal health focuses upon our physical and mental wellbeing. Here, both medical practices and the other healing arts are explored through the interpretative lens of the Christian story. Emphasis is placed upon a holistic model of human personhood that acknowledges the multiple influences constituting human wellbeing, whist also challenging definitions of health and ill health that isolate an individual from the wider relational contexts with which they live.

Spiritual health draws attention to the specifically cultural contexts through which all human experience is filtered. Here, emphasis is placed upon the Christian story as the primary mode of interpretation through which we come to know ourselves and our community as either healthy or unhealthy. Spirituality is defined in this context as the symbolic mode of experience through which we gain insight into, and value for, our lives.  Click here for more information.

None of the above categorisations can be understood in isolation, and so the Centre’s methodology is based upon a conversational encounter between these four overlapping strands.

Not withstanding our commitment to the Christian story, we wish to emphasise that no legitimate enquiry into the constitutive factors of health and ill health are to be excluded from the Centre’s programme. We only ask that participants respect the diversity of views that constitute a genuinely open and searching enquiry.

The Centre is involved with various projects. Please click here for face2face

and click here for Hymns for Healing

Please join us in our theological explorations.

Contact Rev Elizabeth Baxter for further information: 01845 522580  enquiries@holyroodhouse.org.uk

Please click here to view our YouTube channel featuring videos of recent lectures and events up to and including our Summer School 2022. Summer 2023 is soon to be added.

Our Ecology of Health work was part of our Thirsk Churches Together lecture ‘After Fossils Fuels’.  To watch this lecture on YouTube, please click here.