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


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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

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