Negotiating belief in health and social care

Pentaris, Panagiotis. 2018. Negotiating belief in health and social care. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, 11(2), pp. 81-82. ISSN 2056-4902 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Religion and belief, either as identities or concepts, have been explored by several contemporary theorists and researchers (e.g. Davie, 2013, 2015; Casanova, 1994; Bruce, 2011; Berger, 1999; Hervieu-Léger, 2000; Day, 2011; Woodhead and Catto, 2012; Dinham, 2009). The desire to examine religion and belief in the public sphere stemmed from the ambiguity of secularisation theories, suggesting a massive religious decline in societies. By and large, researchers in the twenty-first century have agreed that religion never went away, as per Berger?s (1967) original argument, but rather changed; the way people believe and engage with their religious or nonreligious faith is different. Nevertheless, and as religion privatised, considering modernity and more secular ideas in the public sphere, health and social care professionals found themselves in a position in which they lack appropriate language and skills to engage with religion and belief (Dinham and Francis, 2015) and, therefore, unable to fully appreciate service users? lived experience (Pentaris, 2014). The latter has both short-term and long-term effects, but highlights some ethical issues, deeply rooted in the principles of human rights; predominantly, respect for the other and dignified care.

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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

'This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact'

Special Issue on 'Negotiating belief'. Editorial by Panagiotis Pentaris.


religion; belief; health care; social care; faith

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


14 May 2018Published

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10 Oct 2022 10:52

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11 Oct 2022 16:19

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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