Dr. Drew Leder - A Brief Biography

Dr. Drew Leder has blended an unusual array of interests and accomplishments. He has an M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently a full professor teaching Western and Eastern Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland.

Dr. Leder is the author of many books, both scholarly and popular. His latest is The Distressed Body: Rethinking Illness, Imprisonment, and Healing (University of Chicago 2016). The book addresses topics relevant to the experience of illness, the medical system, the treatment of animals, and of human beings in our "age of mass incarceration."

Dr. Leder has worked extensively with prisoners in a maximum-security environment, as also recounted in The Soul Knows No Bars: Inmates Reflect on Life, Death, and Hope (preface by Cornel West; Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).

Throughout his career Dr. Leder's academic writing has also focused on bodily experience in health and illness. He is the author of The Absent Body (U. of Chicago Press, 1990), editor of The Body in Medical Thought and Practice (Kluwer, 1992), and assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Macmillan, 1995).

He has also written a series of more popular trade books drawing on the spiritual resources of diverse cultures and traditions. Sparks of the Divine: Finding Inspiration in Our Everyday World (Sorin/Ave Maria Press, 2004) explores the spiritual lessons hidden within the things of the natural and human-constructed world.

Another book, Spiritual Passages: Embracing Life's Sacred Journey (Tarcher/Putnam, 1997), grew out of work Dr. Leder did on cross-cultural views of aging, begun as a Scholar-in-Residence at Chicago's prestigious Park Ridge Center. Dr. Leder continues to offer lectures and workshops on spirituality and aging, and acts as a consultant to educational and residential communities with this interest.

On a lighter note, Dr. Leder was inspired by his daughter, and personal experience, to write Games for the Soul: 40 Playful Ways to Find Fun and Fulfillment in a Stressful World (Hyperion, 1998) Many spiritual practices and disciplines have the structure of games. To reach "enlightenment" it can help to lighten up and follow the way of play.

Dr. Leder's work has garnered a good deal of media attention. Articles by or about him have appeared in such places as Family Circle, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and other magazines and newspapers around the country. He has appeared extensively on national and local radio. Dr. Leder has also spoken at conferences around the country, and participated in panels, workshops, and think-tanks in a variety of settings, including the Omega Institute and Esalen, along with more traditional scholarly forums. He is committed to reaching as wide audience as possible through his books, articles, workshops, retreats, and web-based courses.

He lives in Baltimore with his (fellow-philosopher) wife, two daughters, dog, and bunny.

Dr. Leder's academic C.V.

Contact Information:

Dr. Drew Leder
Dept. of Philosophy
Loyola College in Maryland
4501 North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21210
(410) 617-2325 (p)
(410) 617-2628 (f)
dleder@loyola.edu (e-mail)

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