James K. BOEHNLEIN (Ed.) : « Psychiatry and Religion. The Convergence of Mind and Spirit »

American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., 2000. 240 p.

Edited by James K. BOEHNLEIN, M. D., M. Sc. – Professor of Psychiatry, Assistant Dean for Curriculum Oregon Health and Science University ; Associate Director for Education, Department of Veterans Affairs Northwest Network Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC).

Psychiatry and religion both draw on the rich traditions of human thought and practice. The ways in which humans attempt to understand and interact with their world and give meaning to their lives have occupied philosophers, religious leaders, and scientists for centuries.

Psychiatry is unique among the medical sciences in that, as it attempts to explain the full range of human behavior, it often ranges well beyond the realm of natural science and into that of philosophy. Psychiatry and Religion addresses both the polarities and the unifying concepts between these realms, with a unique focus on the point at which psychiatry and religion meet.

Divided into three parts, this scholarly yet eminently readable volume considers theoretical principles and trends, clinical perspectives, and the future relationship of psychiatry and religion. In addition to offering both historical and current perspectives on psychiatry and the major world religions, this insightful book addresses topics rarely discussed elsewhere in psychiatric literature : the role of religious beliefs in mediating responses to illness and disease ; the psychiatric sequelae of cuit involvement ; moral and spiritual issues in the wake of traumatic experiences ; the separate yet complimentary roles of mental health practitioners and clergy in restoring patients to health ; and possible models for integrating science and religion in psychiatric practice, teaching, and research.

Written by clinicians and educators, this fascinating book fills a significant gap in the literature by providing a muchneeded sociological and cross-cultural perspective of theory and practice at the interface of psychiatry and religion. As more and more psychiatry training programs and medical schools begin to include courses on religion and spirituality, psychiatric educators and practitioners alike will find this book to be a valuable resource.

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