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Psychiatry and Religion The Convergence of Mind and Spirit by James K. Boehnlein

Psychiatry and Religion The Convergence of Mind and Spirit


Psychiatry and Religion The Convergence of Mind and Spirit by James K. Boehnlein

Psychiatry and religion both draw on the rich traditions of human thought and practice. The ways in which humans attempt to understand and interact with their world and give meaning to their lives have occupied philosophers, religious leaders, and scientists for centuries. Psychiatry is unique among the medical sciences in that, as it attempts to explain the full range of human behavior, it often ranges well beyond the realm of natural science and into that of philosophy.To deal with contemporary ethical issues, psychiatrists must be able to draw on a broad intellectual tradition not only in the biological sciences, but also in the humanities and social sciences, which encompass the comparative study of religion. Psychiatry and Religion addresses both the polarities and the unifying concepts between psychiatry and religion, with a unique focus on the point at which these two domains meet.Divided into three parts, this scholarly yet eminently readable volume considers both theoretical and clinical issues and includes topics rarely discussed elsewhere in the literature: ? Part I: Theoretical Principles and Historical Trends -- Covers both historical and current cross-cultural perspectives of psychiatry and the major religions, including a close look at cults? Part II: Treatment Issues at the Interface of Psychiatry and Religion -- Discusses the influence of religious movements on psychiatric therapies, the moral and spiritual issues in the wake of traumatic experiences, and the separate yet complementary roles of mental health practitioners and clergy in restoring patients to health? Part III: Looking Toward the Future -- Considers bioethics, religious and spiritual issues in psychiatric education and training, and religion and future psychiatric nosology and treatment Written by clinicians and educators, this fascinating book fills a significant gap in the literature by providing a much-needed sociological and cross-cultural perspective of theory and practice at the interface of where psychiatry and religion. As more and more psychiatry training programs and medical schools begin to include courses on religion and spirituality, psychiatric educators and practitioners alike will find this book to be a valuable resource.


Shortly after the turn of the 19th century Sigmund Freud discovered that several of his patients had transferred their parental conflicts onto their attitudes toward God. Inspired by such discoveriesFreud proceeded to compose his classic Totem and Taboo, which linked the beginning of religions to human intra-psychic dynamics. The legacy of this seminal work fostered a rich field of research in psychiatry, anthropology and religious studies throughout the 20th century.James Boehnlein and his colleagues have aptly captured the scope and depth of this field in this book. Each author has conducted and published research demonstrating the intricate interconnections between religion and psychic structures and their influences on shaping and abating mental illnesses. Psychiatry and Religion will prove to be a valuable resource and reference in psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, and religious studies graduate education courses, as well as a good read for those who have already graduated from programs in these disciplines. -- Edward F. Foulks, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana

About the Author

James K. Boehnlein, M.D., M.Sc., is Associate Professor and Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University and is Associate Director for Education, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2000


James K. Boehnlein

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American Psychiatric Association Publishing


224 pages


Religion: general



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