Conceptualizing Spirituality and Religiousness

  • Rodolfo F. Damiano
  • Mario F. P. Peres
  • Marina A. B. Sena
Part of the Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach book series (RELSPHE, volume 4)


Research on spirituality, religion and health has been growing considerably when analyzing the last 20 years. Much of this research concerns to patients’ opinions and desires on medical treatment, specifically concerning the inclusion of patients’ spiritual/religious issues and how it can influence the health outcome. However, there is still a lack of consensus about the definition of spirituality, and this need might affect the analysis of how the term “spiritual” have been understood by patients and health care providers, and how spirituality might affect patients’ mental and physical health. Nowadays, researchers debate about how is the best way to understand spirituality, and if is possible to standardize the conceptualization of this concept. Two important schools of thought debate what is the best way to understand spirituality scientifically. The first group supports the inclusive (comprehensive) conceptualization, and the second support the narrow (or religious) idea of spirituality. Trough this chapter we will discuss both conceptual frameworks and also reinforce our idea about religion, and how it can influence our understanding of spirituality, especially on the twenty-first century.


Spirituality Religion Conceptualization Definition Health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodolfo F. Damiano
    • 1
  • Mario F. P. Peres
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marina A. B. Sena
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Hospital Israelita Albert EinsteinSão PauloBrazil

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