From Religious Death to Religious Health: the Sacred and the Secular Reinstated

Pentaris, Panagiotis and Stacey, Timothy. 2014. 'From Religious Death to Religious Health: the Sacred and the Secular Reinstated'. In: ESA Sociology of Religion 'Religion in the Public Domain'. Ireland. [Conference or Workshop Item]


Download (393kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Religion and belief are once again largely recognised in the public sphere; religion has been reinstated from a decaying and dying position to a healthy state. But the result is no mere revival of the old religious language, the old politics, policy and practice. Secular rationality in public discourse is still widely recognised as guaranteeing liberty and equality, while the new recognition of religion and belief is complexly bound up with the arrival of new religions and new ways of believing. What this means for politics, policy and practice is deeply complex, especially since differences between and within these areas render comparison difficult.
This paper will compare original findings in social action and health-care practice. It will highlight how these two fields have moved at different speeds and in different directions with regards to the role of religion and belief. Findings presented are drawn from two separate pilots, from separate researchers, one from each field.
In the field of social action, while there has been a reawakening to the role of religion, this recognition is often enthused with either older ideas about religion, positive but inaccurate, or with anxious secular perspectives. On the contrary, both religious and non-religious social identities are now embedded in the theoretical frameworks of professional practice in health care. Nonetheless, preliminary data shows that health care professionals lack religious literacy in service delivery.
Religion is again recognised in the public domain, yet there is confusion as to how to approach it. By comparatively exploring these separate fields, this paper offers tentative suggestions as to how to move forwards.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


secularization, religion, belief, social action, health care

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work


September 2014Completed

Event Location:


Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Mar 2015 09:23

Last Modified:

06 Oct 2022 08:39


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)