Lindsey Johnson-Edwards

Graduate Student in Religious Ethics


Lindsey graduated from Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in 2014 with a B.A. in Biblical Studies. While at OBU, she primarily studied Old Testament literature and the Hebrew language. She then continued her studies in the Th.M. program at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), expecting to further her exploration in the Hebrew Bible. Before graduating from DTS, however, her research interests shifted from biblical studies to “quality of life” care. During her time in seminary, the progression of her incurable rare disease required her to spend much of her time in medical complexes with physician-researchers. Each time physician-researchers would utilize the term “quality of life” and make assumptions about her own “decreased quality of life,” she would ask them to define what they meant by “quality of life.” She quickly realized that the term was often utilized without an actual definition or construct in mind. As she started researching “quality of life,” she learned that there was a lack of cohesion and consensus regarding the philosophy and ethics of “quality of life” care.

At SMU, Lindsey is hoping to contribute to the interdisciplinary conversation on “quality of life” by approaching “quality of life” ethics from a theological perspective. She plans to utilize Augustine’s theological anthropology, specifically his work on eudaimonia, in her research project. Lindsey’s research focuses on the well-being and flourishing of complex medical patients, particularly patients with progressive or incurable diseases. By interweaving theological ethics and medical ethics, Lindsey is developing a theological account of “quality of life” care and ethics.

Outside of her research, Lindsey enjoys volunteering with rare disease advocacy organizations. She participates in legislative meetings, advocating for policies that aim to improve the lives of patients. She also spends time creating resources for her own rare disease community. In her free time, she loves baking bread and spending time with her husband and their dog, Phoebe, whom she believes is the most precious dog to ever exist.