Gedrag & gezondheid

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 74–86 | Cite as

Spiritualiteit en religie

Het verband met geestelijke en lichamelijke gezondheid
  • Jaap van der Stel


Spirituality and religion. The association with mental and physical health

This article discusses spirituality and religion in relation to somatic and mental health and health care. It emphasizes mental health, because it is assumed that the effects on somatic health are mediated or modulated via improvements of mental health (including a better coping with stressful situations). The term ‘spirituality’ refers to the subjective, inner journey – eventually the encounter with God. It is also the category that summarizes modern – New Age-related – movements. The term ‘religion’ is especially related to the common organization of that journey; religion is concerned with the attributes of the journey and the travel books. The structure of this article is as follows: in the first part religion and spirituality will be defined. This paragraph is the overture to the second paragraph that discusses the outcomes of scientific research on the relationships between spirituality and/or religion and (mental) health. The third paragraph presents the explanations that are proposed by researchers regarding the health-related effects of religion and spirituality – it discusses also some theoretical contributions from the neurosciences. The article ends with a paragraph that discusses the consequences of some research findings for clinical practice.


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Copyright information

© Bohn Stafleu van Loghum 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaap van der Stel
    • 1
  1. 1.

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