Culture, Religion and Spirituality in Relation to Psychiatric Illness

  • Kate M. Loewenthal
Part of the International Handbooks of Religion and Education book series (IHRE, volume 3)


Religious and spiritual factors can affect mental health (Pargament, 1997; Koenig, McCullough & Larson, 2001; Loewenthal, 2007). There are many routes by which these effects operate. However, most of the work on these effects has been done in western, Christian cultures. Does work from other religions and cultures suggest new perspectives on the problems and conclusions? Using evidence from other cultural-religious contexts, some ideas are examined about the links between culture, religion, spirituality and mental health. This chapter will look at four issues in particular: somatisation, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. There are hypotheses relating to each of these disorders and their links with religion or cultural factors. We look to see whether these hypotheses are supported by evidence from non-western and/or non-Christian cultures. Implications for education and wellbeing are considered.


Mental Health Psychiatric Illness Somatic Symptom Religious Coping Somatic Complaint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonEghamUK

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