The Reverend Dr. Nathan Carlin is the Director of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston). Dr. Carlin holds the Samuel Karff Chair and the rank of Professor.

At McGovern Medical School, Dr. Carlin was elected as Chair of the Faculty Senate for 2018-2019, and has an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. At the UTHealth School of Dentistry, he co-directs the Clinical Humanities Certificate Program for dental students, and he is a founding member of the National Collaborative on Humanities and Ethics in Dentistry.

Dr. Carlin is a medical humanities scholar with an interest in psychoanalysis and religion. His teaching interests include clinician-writing, pathographies of mental illness, death and dying, and literature and medicine.

Dr. Carlin has published 9 books. In recent years, the focus of his writing has been oriented toward developing core texts for medical humanities. Some sample texts in this regard include Medical Humanities: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press); Teaching Health Humanities (Oxford University Press); Contemporary-Physician Authors: Exploring the Insights of Doctors Who Write (Routledge); and Pathographies of Mental Illness (Cambridge University Press).

Currently, Dr. Carlin is writing a monograph on medicine and secularization; co-editing a book with Keisha Ray, titled Medicine, Meaning, and Identity; and, with Renee Flores and Joanne Lynn, preparing the third edition of Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness. All three of these book projects are under contract with Oxford University Press.


Bachelor of Arts
Westminster College
Master of Divinity
Princeton Theological Seminary
Master of Arts
Rice University
Doctor of Philosophy
Rice University

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Medical Humanities and Bioethics
Pastoral Theology
Psychology of Religion


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  • Carlin, N. (Ed.) (2021). Contemporary physician-authors: Exploring the insights of doctors who write. Routledge.
  • Carlin, N. (2020). Correlating bioethics and theology. American Journal of Bioethics, 20(12).
  • Carlin, N. (2015). Doctors and Dr. Seuss: Restoring the patient’s voice. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 24(1), 113-119.
  • Cole, T. R., Carlin, N., & Carson, R. A. (2014). Medical humanities: An introduction. Cambridge University Press.
  • Carlin, N. (2014). Religious mourning: Reversals and restorations in psychological portraits of religious leaders. Wipf and Stock Publishers.
  • Cole, T. R., & Carlin, N. (2009). The suffering of physicians. The Lancet, 374(9699), 1414-1415.