Psychiatry and Religion: A Stance

Peter J. Verhagen


A dialogue between psychiatry and religion is still not easy to conduct despite the awareness that religion (and spirituality) can play an important role in the way patients cope with their mental disorder. In this contribution the goal is to pave the path in the hope that it will promote dialogue. To achieve this goal, we take three steps. We will start with describing science and religion as social practices characterized by epistemic, practical, collective and individual goals. The next step is some analysis of what we mean by commitment. Based on what we have found we will be able to describe what we mean by a stance, followed by what in our view characterizes mostly the stance “psychiatry and religion”. Holism, values, a certain conception of the professional role, and inclusiveness are the essential issues.

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