Spirituality and Health: Multidisciplinary Explorations.


316 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-0-88920-477-2
DDC 201'.661




Edited by Augustine Meier et al
Reviewed by Diana Coholic

Diana Coholic is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at
Laurentian University.


A compilation of papers based on the Eighth Annual Conference of the Society of Pastoral Counselling Research, the focus of this book is spirituality in health care from a multidisciplinary perspective. This includes the fields of pastoral counselling, psychology, occupational therapy, theology, medicine, and perspectives from chaplains. The book reflects many of the issues that are currently being discussed across helping/health professions such as defining spirituality, and examining connections between health outcomes and spirituality. However, because of its origins and the authors’ perspectives, it includes theological discussions “as an equal partner in the dialogue between spirituality and health.” Although social work is not a profession included in this book, anyone familiar with the extensive literature in social work and spirituality would find convergences between this literature and the book’s contents—especially the second section.


The book is organized into three sections. The first section addresses faith perspectives and the incorporation of spirituality into health care fields. While there is nothing groundbreaking in these chapters, they offer the reader a background of how and why spirituality should be included in health/helping practices. The second section includes an overview of some spiritually influenced practices with various client populations, such as working with dementia, addiction, and using the labyrinth as a tool for exploration. It also contains an excerpt from Calvin Morrisseau’s book Into the Daylight: A Wholistic Approach to Healing. The third section presents some small-scale and pilot research studies. For example, one study examined the experience of God by palliative care patients, and another constructed an instrument to measure suffering in patients with arthritis. Some readers might find some of the ideas in this section controversial—for example, that spiritual exploration/healing can heal fibromyalgia.


In general, this book would likely appeal more to readers and practitioners that can engage with the largely Christian theological and religious references. As the editors state, their hope is that the book’s contents will help “pastoral counselors, health care professionals, and chaplains” familiarize themselves with some of the work being done in this field.


“Spirituality and Health: Multidisciplinary Explorations.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/27204.