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Books, Journals, New Media
January 10, 2001

Psychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry and Religion: The Convergence of Mind and Spirit

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2001;285(2):218-219. doi:10.1001/jama.285.2.218-JBK0110-4-1

The interface of health care and spirituality/religion has over the last decade received unprecedented attention in leading general and specialty medical journals. The most scientifically impressive portion of this literature focuses on the extent to which patients draw on spirituality and religion in coping with severe, chronic, or terminal illness; religion and mortality; and religion in relation to alleviation of stress and psychoneuroimmunology.

The least impressive literature either denounces the very idea of the social scientific study of spirituality and religion in the context of illness and health or goes beyond what these data demonstrate to the domain of purely fideistic claims. In general, the scientific literature has improved dramatically. Boehnlein's book brings together leading scholars at this interface, focusing on psychiatry and religion. It is a reasonably successful book, owing largely to several very good chapters, although it does not present new scientific findings or raise the level of dialogue beyond that which is already available elsewhere.

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