Timothy Benedict is a Ph.D. candidate in the Asian Religions subfield. His teaching and research interests are centered on the role of religion in modern to contemporary Japanese society, and especially as it relates to the fields of medicine, social welfare, and care for the dying.
His dissertation, “Soul Searching: Spiritual Care in the Japanese Hospice,” represents the first sustained ethnographic study of the religious dimensions of Japan’s growing hospice movement and illuminates spiritual care for dying patients from a cross-cultural perspective. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Japan, he examines similarities and differences in how spiritual care is conducted at Buddhist, Christian, and secular hospices and relates these findings to a broader narrative of how Japanese religious groups are seeking new vocational roles within modern medical institutions. His research also contributes to global conversations about spiritual care by illuminating an under-researched yet growing Japanese iteration of the phenomenon.
During the academic year 2017-2018, he will focus on completing his dissertation as a Graduate Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion in Princeton.
Born and raised in Japan, Tim holds a B.A. from Nyack College and an A.M. from Harvard University. Prior to coming to Princeton, he also worked for two years in the chaplain’s office of a hospital in Osaka.