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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeremiah L. Spencer, BA, MA (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book grew out of a retreat for physicians conducted in Canton, Ohio in January, 1996. It is not about spirituality in health care, but spirituality itself.
Purpose: It has been written primarily for health care professionals. It is from a man of faith for comrades in faith, for those of other persuasions, or for those with no faith at all. In a brief book, the author projects a theology of spirituality and a practical bedside manner to complement it.
Audience: He addresses healthcare professionals, as well as anyone who has ever been sick or will be sick. His message is for all of us. He is familiar with noted writers of antiquity and presents their thinking with cogency and authenticity.
Features: The school of spirituality presented is Christian, nurtured in the Roman Catholic tradition, Franciscan in character, and also quite personal. To exemplify his theme the author cites the parable of the Good Samaritan with its challenges and demands as a useful paradigm of what spirituality in medicine could be. His belief system is not dogmatic or proselytizing.
Assessment: This book is a welcome addition to the excellent studies emerging in this field. It offers fundamental concepts with which to define one's spirituality. Other recent works that exemplify this point and complement this concept are Spirituality and Health, Health and Spirituality: A New Journey of Spirit, Mind, and Body by Bruce G. Epperly, PhD (Twenty-third Publications 1997), and Is Religion Good for Your Health: Balm of Gilead or Deadly Doctrine? by Harold O. Koenig, MD (Haworth Pr 1997).