Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Religion and Health

  • Jelena Gudelj Rakić
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2984

Definition

There are many different definitions of  religion. One of the most commonly used defines religion as a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teaching of a  spiritual leader. Religion is a system of thought, feeling, and action shared by a group. Also, religion is an acknowledgment of the extraordinary, the mysterious, the supernatural. The religious consciousness generally recognizes a sacred order and elaborate a technique to deal with the inexplicable or unpredictable elements of human experience.

Most languages have no word for religion but this does not mean their speakers are not religious.

Basic Characteristics

Types of Religious Systems

Religion is an essential part of the human experience.

Main concerns of every religion are health, wealth, and the pursuit of happiness. Through religion people express their desire for a better life. How “better”, “healthy”, “wealthy” or “happy” are understood varies from one community to another as well...

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References

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    Charlesworth M, Morphy H, Bell D, Maddock K (eds) (1984) Religion in Aboriginal Australia. University of Queensland Press, St. LuciaGoogle Scholar
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    Clarke PB (ed) (1998) New Trends and Developments in African Religions. Greenwood, Westport, CTGoogle Scholar
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    Gill SD (1982) Native American Religions: An Introduction. Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, CAGoogle Scholar
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    Haar G, Moyo A, Nondo SJ (1992) African Traditional Religions in Religious Education. A Resource Book with special reference to Zimbabwe. Utrecht University Press, UtrechtGoogle Scholar
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    Harvey G (ed) (2000) Indigenous Religions: A Companion. Cassell, LondonGoogle Scholar
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    Hughes P (1997) Australia's religious profile. In: Bouma GD (ed) Many religions, all Australian: religious settlement, identity and cultural diversity. Open Bok Publishers, AdelaideGoogle Scholar
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    Koenig HG, Mc Cullough M, Larson DB (2001) Handbook of religion and health. Oxford University Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
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    Smith JZ (1998) Religion, religous, religous. In: Taylor MC (ed) Criticall Terms for Religous Studies. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
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    Queen EL, Prothero S, Shattuck GH Jr (2001) The Encyclopedia of American Religious History (rev ed). New York: Facts on FileGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jelena Gudelj Rakić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food and NutritionInstitute of Public Health of SerbiaBelgradeSerbia