Ellen L. Idler

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology

Office: Tarbutton Hall 209

Phone: 404-727-9148

Fax: 404-727-7532

Email: eidler@emory.edu


  • PhD in Sociology, Yale University, 1985
  • MA in Sociology, Rutgers University, 1976
  • BA in Sociology, College of Wooster, 1974


Ellen L. Idler is the Director of Emory University’s Religion and Public Health Collaborative, and the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology.  Dr. Idler received her Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Yale University and she attended Union Theological Seminary on a Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship.  She taught at Rutgers University from 1985 to 2009 in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research.  Dr. Idler is a Fellow and the past chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America, and was the recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award.  She studies the influence of social connections on health, the effect of self-ratings of health on mortality and disability, and the impact of religious participation on health and the timing of death. She is an Academic Editor for PLoS ONE, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Sociology, the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social BehaviorSociological Forum, and Rutgers University Press.


social epidemiology, sociology of religion, individual and population aging and the life course, medicine and health care, social science writing

religion and public health; cohort and age patterns in suicide rates; end of life decision-making; marital status and survival following heart surgery; religion and the quality of the last year of life; religious practice, ritual, and health