Landis M.F. Vance
Landis Vance was passionate about understanding and facilitating personal growth, positive transformation and resilience. She believed that disease is not only about the illness of the body, but about the wounding of one’s soul.
As a child Landis Vance suffered from polio. At the height of her professional years she suffered from an advanced case of Lyme´s disease. The spiritual battles represented by both of these convinced her that spiritual growth came from wrestling with the chaos of illness. She went back to graduate school to study the inter-relationship between spirituality, psychology, and medicine, and received an interdisciplinary Ph.D in Practical Theology and Health.
Dr. Vance became a chaplain in the critical care and palliative care departments within a large research hospital and urban trauma center. She taught medical students the impact of culture, religion, and spirituality on therapeutic relationships, and mentored students and seminarians in their formation and training. The focus of her work during this time was to inform health care practitioners of the link between clinical outcomes and spiritual factors.
But the most important work, and that closest to her heart, was to guide and support patients and family members as they negotiated the shoals of medical crises.
Vance strongly believed that humanity needed to be better informed about the function of the spirit, and this was her aim for her book A Most Clarifying Battle. Her diagnosis of incurable cancer eight years ago, and her eventual surrendering to the disease, marks her work with depth, complexity and urgency.