Religion, belief, and spirituality in health care

Pentaris, Panagiotis. 2019. Religion, belief, and spirituality in health care. In: Sarah Gehlert and Teri Browne, eds. Handbook of Health Social Work. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 279-302. ISBN 9781119420729 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter operates on the premise that social workers in health care would benefit from expanding their knowledge, understanding, skills, and abilities to address needs related to religion and belief. This is done through the lens of the sociology of religion. The chapter begins by making a case for the importance of this dialog and examines religious diversification internationally, while drawing on examples from the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. It then discusses definitional inquiries regarding religion, belief, and secularity. Further, the chapter explores the place of religion, belief, and spirituality in health care, as well as identity and illness. Next, it provides information on cultural humility and cultural competence to provide social workers with a tool to further their understanding of appropriate approaches to practice, complemented by methods of spiritual assessment. Thereafter, religious literacy is addressed in terms of its fluidity across settings.

Item Type:

Book Section

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religion; belief; faith; cultural competence; cultural humility; social work

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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


2 August 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

07 Oct 2022 10:50

Last Modified:

07 Oct 2022 10:51


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