"Religion, Race and the Microbe: Theological Analysis of Public Health Resistance in the Pandemicine", Dr. Aminah Bradford
From Suzanne Pellegrini
Microbes and Social Equity speaker series 2023
This series explores the way that microbes connect public policy, social disparities, and human health, as well as the ongoing research, education, policy, and innovation in this field.
I would like to thank the UMaine Institute of Medicine and the UMaine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Committee for their support for this series, and acknowledge the work of our MSE members helping to organize this: Emily Wissel, Katherine Daiy, Kieran O’Doherty, Hannah Holland-Moritz, Mallory Choudoir, and Mustafa Saifuddin. I would also like to recognize that the University of Maine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation.
This presentation is “Religion, Race and the Microbe: Theological Analysis of Public Health Resistance in the Pandemicine”, by Dr. Aminah Al-Attas Bradford.
Dr. Bradford is a research scholar in North Carolina State's Public Science Lab for Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity of Humans and Food where she draws together interdisciplinary engagement of microbes, exploring fermentation, probiotic health and pathogens. Dr. Bradford is also a college Chaplain at Salem Women's College, and Director of the Center for Contemporary Practice and Wellbeing. Working at the intersections of religion, microbiology, ecology and race, Dr. Bradford's research investigates the historical entanglement of disease theories, public health strategy, Christian thought, and coloniality to cultivate ecological wisdom, scientific engagement and the pursuit of environmental justice in religious contexts. She asks questions like, how have the historical entanglement of epidemiology, coloniality and Christian teaching contributed to the disease of both body and planet, the disproportionate effects of which are born by black and brown communities? How has demonizing the microbe paved the way for oppression of those deemed sub-human? And how might microbiome science reform Christian thought that often disrupts engagement of science and is complicit in exploitative and exclusionary ways of being?