Dr. N. S. Xavier recently retired after practicing psychiatry in Birmingham, Alabama for over three decades, and incorporating the wisdom of spirituality in his practice.
He is the author of Fulfillment Using Real Conscience (2009), a revised version
of (previously published) Fulfilling Heart and Soul. He authored two other books earlier. He has produced the documentary
“The World’s Most Enlightening Region” which was shown at the Parliament of World’s Religions in Salt
Lake City, Utah on 10-17-2015. It is an hour long film about 2000 years’ interfaith harmony, and transformation of extremism
in different faiths, using conscience in a region in Kerala, India. This region is closely connected with six or seven religious
mystics, and interestingly, Einstein and five other Nobel Prize winning modern physicists have expressed mystical worldviews.
Utilizing this unique example, Xavier explores and explains the method in the madness and goodness of religion and culture,
and the crucial role of conscience in promoting peace, love and goodness.
Xavier grew up in one of the oldest Christian communities in the world--St. Thomas Christians of Kerala, India. Kerala has a unique history of religious pluralism and harmony. Hindus, Christians and Jews from the first Century,
and Muslims also from seventh century have lived there peacefully except in the 16th century when the Portuguese
caused problems for all these religious groups.
After High School education in Kerala, Xavier did Bachelor of Science and medical education in Gwalior, about 200 miles south of New Delhi. Subsequently, for a couple of years he did general medical practice partly in
Kerala and some in Jamaica. Then, he did Junior Psychiatric Residency at The University of West Indies,
and a full Psychiatric Residency at the University of Virginia. He has practiced psychiatry in Birmingham since 1979. His wife of 42 years has
retired from pain management at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and he jokes “she treated pain and I treat
suffering.” His two children are settled in Birmingham with their spouses.
Besides his expertise in psychiatry and exposure to many cultures, he has gained vast knowledge about religion, literature,
history and philosophy. And he has integrated the insights and wisdom from these diverse fields in his practice, writings
and speeches. People appreciate his compassion and pragmatism
as a clinician and his sense of humor.
His book, The Two Faces of Religion: A Psychiatrist’s
View was first published by Portals Press (1987) in the U.S. and later published in India by Theological Publications.
It was translated into Malayalam by Fr.J. Chirayil, a Catholic monk, with a
foreword by Justice Krihna
Iyer, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. The book was used in several colleges in religion courses. It received
highly favorable comments from well respected experts like Gerald May, Wayne Oates, John Sanford, Seshagiri Rao and Rabbi
Samuel Egal Karff, and good reviews in Choice, AHP Perspecive and The Journal of Pastoral Care. Nobel
Laureate Prof. Elie Wiesal called the book “challenging and provocative.”
His second book, The
Holy Region: A Wonder of World Religions in Harmony, published by Aladdin Books in Kochi, India
in 2003. The foreword was written by Prof. K.L.S. Rao, Chief Editor, Encyclopedia of Hinduism. The book was used for
a course in cultural perspectives at Samford University.
He has been giving presentations on the current book to professional, college, church and lay groups and at Conferences such
as Annual Cnference of Alabama Association of Community Mental Health Boards, Mensa Annual Conference, Gandhi/King Peacemaking
Conference, an International Conference in China and the World Congress on Psychology and Spirituality in India. He has done
many CME programs and given lectures to medical, psychology and pastoral care students, a workshop at California
State University and the keynote speech at the 2008 Pastoral Care Week celebration in Birmingham. He spoke at the Parliament
of World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia in 2009. He has been giving presentations in Spirituality and Medicine
and Introduction to Peace Studies at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.