Religion and Psychiatry: Beyond Boundaries / Edition 1

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Religion (and spirituality) is very much alive and shapes the cultural values and aspirations of psychiatrist and patient alike, as does the choice of not identifying with a particular faith. Patients bring their beliefs and convictions into the doctor-patient relationship. The challenge for mental health professionals, whatever their own world view, is to develop and refine their vocabularies such that they truly understand what is communicated to them by their patients. Religion and Psychiatry provides psychiatrists with a framework for this understanding and highlights the importance of religion and spirituality in mental well-being. This book aims to inform and explain, as well as to be thought provoking and even controversial. Patiently and thoroughly, the authors consider why and how, when and where religion (and spirituality) are at stake in the life of psychiatric patients. The interface between psychiatry and religion is explored at different levels, varying from daily clinical practice to conceptual fieldwork. The book covers phenomenology, epidemiology, research data, explanatory models and theories. It also reviews the development of DSM V and its awareness of the importance of religion and spirituality in mental health. What can religious traditions learn from each other to assist the patient? Religion and Psychiatry discusses this, as well as the neurological basis of religious experiences. It describes training programmes that successfully incorporate aspects of religion and demonstrates how different religious and spiritual traditions can be brought together to improve psychiatric training and daily practice.
• Describes the relationship of the main world religions with psychiatry
• Considers training, policy and service delivery
• Provides powerful support for more effective partnerships between psychiatry and religion in day to day clinical care This is the first time that so many psychiatrists, psycholog

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The range is very broad, there is a fair degree of debate within the volume, and attempting to bring the combatants together in discussion sections may be valuable in a second edition. Considering the enormity and controversial nature of the subject, the editors must be commended on producing this valuable volume." (Mental health, religion and culture, 1 January 2011)

"All in all: very readable, a large amount of material brought together in a single volume, a milestone marking the beginning of a new, less ideological and less conflict-ridden era in the history of psychiatry and religion." (Dutch Theological Journal, 2010)

"offers an outstanding collection of chapters dealing with mental health and religion. Its editors, Peter J. Verhagen, Herman M. van Praag, Juan J. Lopez-Ibor Jr., John L. Cox., and Driss Moussaoui, have assembled a great variety of chapters dealing with topics that are of great interest to psychologists studying religion." (

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470694718
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Series: World Psychiatric Association Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 680
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter J. Verhagen is a graduate of the School of Medicine (1983) and the School of Theology (1988) of the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. In 1988 he was registered as a psychiatrist. He is a practicing psychiatrist and theologian, group psychotherapist and supervisor (2002) of the Dutch Association for Group Dynamics and Group Psychotherapy. He is Director of the Program for the Treatment of Personality Disorders, Meerkanten GGz Ermelo/Harderwijk. He is also co-founder and present chair of the WPA Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry, founded in 2003, and Secretary of the Dutch Foundation for Psychiatry and Religion. He is lead editor of the Dutch journal, 'Psyche & Geloof' (Psyche & Faith).  

Herman M. van Praag is Professor Emeritus of the Dutch Universities of Groningen, Utrecht, Maastricht, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA. He established the first department of biological psychiatry in Europe (Groningen) and became the first European Professor of Biological Psychiatry in 1968. He is well known for his extensive research on the biological determinants of depression and depressive symptoms for which he was decorated many times. He chaired the WPA Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry.

 Juan J. López-Ibor, Jr is Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry and Director of the Institute for Psychiatry and Mental Health of the San Carlos Hospital of the Complutense University in Madrid. He is also Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Mental Health, Spain, and Fellow of the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain, Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Zaragoza, and Honorary Fellow of the Spanish Medical Chirurgical Academy. He has been Secretary General, President-Elect and President of the World Psychiatric Association. He is author, alone or in collaboration, of 53 books and of 219 chapters in monographs by other authors. He has published more than 330 papers in scientific journals and has presented more than 1,500 papers and communications in scientific meetings.

John L. Cox is Professor Emeritus at Keele University and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, London.  During his period as President and Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, he encouraged greater emphasis on international mental health, and the bridging of arts and science. He is the Immediate Past Secretary General of the World Psychiatric Association. He has a longstanding interest in the relationship between religion, spirituality and mental health, and was the lead editor of a book based on the work of Paul Tournier. He co-authored Modern Management of Perinatal Mental Disorder, and has published widely in perinatal mental health and transcultural psychiatry.

 Driss Moussaoui is the Founder and the Chairman of the Ibn Rushd University Psychiatric Centre in Casablanca, Morocco, a WHO Collaborating Centre in Mental Health since 1992. He is the President-Elect of the World Association of Social Psychiatry and a member of the French Academy of Medicine. He is the Vice-Chair of the World Psychiatric Association Section on Spirituality, Religion and Psychiatry. Driss Moussaoui has published (or edited) 10 books and hundreds of papers in international journals.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors



General Introduction: Religion and Science

Peter J. Verhagen



1.1 Evil in Historical Perspective: At the Intersection of Religion and Psychiatry

Michael H. Stone

1.2 Linguistic Analysis and Values-Based Practice: One Way of Getting Started with Some Kinds of Philosophical Problems at the Interface Between Psychiatry and Religion

Bill (K.W.M.) Fulford

1.3 Science and Transcendence in Psychopathology; Lessons from Existentialism

Juan J. López-Ibor Jr. & María Inés López-Ibor Alcocer

1.4 Psychiatry of the Whole Person – Contribution of Spirituality in form of Mystic (Sufi) Thinking

Ahmad Mohit


Introduction 87

2.1 Judaism and Psychiatry

Ayala Uri, Noa Navot & Alan Apter

2.2 Christianity and Psychiatry

John R. Peteet

2.3 Religion and Mental Health in Islam

Ahmed Okasha

2.4 Psychiatry and African Religion

Frank G. Njenga, Anna Nguithi & Sam G. Gatere

2.5 Hinduism and Mental Health

R. Srinivasa Murthy

2.6 Buddhism and Psychotherapy in Japan

Naotaka Shinfuku & Kenji Kitanishi

2.7 Psychiatry and Theravada Buddhism

Pichet Udomratn


Introduction 209

3.1 Religious Experience and Psychopathology

Juan J. López-Ibor Jr. & María Inés López-Ibor Alcocer

3.2 God’s Champions and Adversaries: About the Borders between Normal and Abnormal Religiosity

Herman M. van Praag

3.3 Religion and Psychopathology: Psychosis and Depression

Andrew C. P. Sims

3.4 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Religion: A Reconnaissance

Harold J. G. M. van Megen, Dianne A. den Boer-Wolters & Peter J. Verhagen

3.5 Religion and Psychoanalysis: Past and Present

Allan M. Josephson, Armand Nicholi Jr. & Allan Tasman

3.6 On the Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism

John, Lord Alderdice

3.7 Measurement at the Interface of Psychiatry and Religion:

Issues and Existing Measures

Peter C. Hill & Carissa Dwiwardani



4.1 Religion and Mental Health: What Do You Mean When You Say ‘Religion’? What Do You Mean When You Say ‘Mental Health’?

Charles H. Hackney

4.2 A Moment of Anger, a Lifetime of Favor: Image of God, Personality, and Orthodox Religiosity

Elisabeth H.M. Eurelings-Bontekoe & Hanneke Schaap-Jonker

4.3 The Relationship Between an Orthodox Protestant Upbringing and Current Orthodox Protestant Adherence, DSM-IV Axis II B Cluster Personality Disorders and Structural Borderline Personality Organization

Elisabeth H.M. Eurelings-Bontekoe & Patrick Luyten

4.4 When Religion Goes Awry: Religious Risk Factors for Poorer Health and Well-Being

Hisham Abu Raiya, Kenneth I. Pargament & Gina Magyar-Russell

4.5 Religious Practice and Mental Health: a Moroccan Experience

Driss Moussaoui & Nadia Kadri

4.6 Religious and Spiritual Considerations in Psychiatric Diagnosis: Considerations for the DSM-V

David Lukoff, C. Robert Cloninger, Marc Galanter, David M. Gellerman, Linda Glickman, Harold G. Koenig, Francis G. Lu, William E. Narrow, John R. Peteet, Samuel B. Thielman & C. Paul Yang



5.1 Gods of the Horizon: The Therapist’s and the Patient’s Religious Representations and the Inevitability of Countertransference

Moshe Halevi Spero

5.2 Assumptions About Pastoral Care, Spirituality and Mental Health

Peter J. Verhagen & Adamantios G. Avgoustidis

5.3 Coming to Terms with Loss in Schizophrenia – The Search for Meaning

Hanneke (J.K.) Muthert



6.1 The Limits of Scientific Understanding and their Relevance for the Role of Religion in Psychiatry

Robert H. Belmaker

6.2 Seat of the Divine: A Biological ‘Proof of God’s Existence’?

Herman M. van Praag

6.3 Neuro-Theology: Demasqué of Religions

Dick F. Swaab & Wilma T.P. Verweij



7.1 Religion and the Training of Psychotherapists

Allan M. Josephson, John R. Peteet & Allan Tasman

7.2 Multicultural Education and Training in Religion and Spirituality

Peter J. Verhagen & John L. Cox

Epilogue: Proposal for a World Psychiatric Association Consensus or Position Statement on Spirituality and Religion in Psychiatry

Peter J. Verhagen & Christopher C.H. Cook

Notes on Contributors

Index of Names

Index of Subjects

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