If you have $200.00USD to spare, there’s a book you need to buy — “Religion and PsychiatryBeyond Boundaries” — and if you don’t have that much scratch, I’ll try to fill you in on a bit of what you’re missing.

Here’s the PR blurp for the book:

Religion (and spirituality) is very much alive and shapes the cultural values and aspirations of psychiatrist and patient alike, as does the choice of not identifying with a particular faith. Patients bring their beliefs and convictions into the doctor-patient relationship. The challenge for mental health professionals, whatever their own world view, is to develop and refine their vocabularies such that they truly understand what is communicated to them by their patients. Religion and Psychiatry provides psychiatrists with a framework for this understanding and highlights the importance of religion and spirituality in mental well-being.

This book aims to inform and explain, as well as to be thought provoking and even controversial. Patiently and thoroughly, the authors consider why and how, when and where religion (and spirituality) are at stake in the life of psychiatric patients. The interface between psychiatry and religion is explored at different levels, varying from daily clinical practice to conceptual fieldwork. The book covers phenomenology, epidemiology, research data, explanatory models and theories. It also reviews the development of DSM V and its awareness of the importance of religion and spirituality in mental health.

Here are some of the keen highlights provided by Google Book Preview.  I had no idea Hinduism is the third most popular world religion:

The historical analysis of evil provides great insight into how we view bad deeds today and why we have always sought to punish both the inner self and the composite body:

Perception is a big part of how we create meaning in the world and my understanding of a drawing may be totally different than yours — yet, somehow, we are able to agree a strawberry is a strawberry:

No matter what view we share with, or against, each other on religion — the one binding factor of the mind bidding against us all in our lives is our impending deaths — and the anxiety of leaving behind and being left behind is our shared, repressed, torture:

If you can’t afford to by “Religion and Psychiatry: Beyond Boundaries” — you must find a way to compel your local library or university library to spring forth the money for the purchase because the scholarship is exemplary and our need to understand the sinewy connection behind the forever mind and the ethereal essence is what makes us deide and act who we are beyond rational thinking and blind faith.


  1. This looks like an amazing read, David. I will ask the NY library to get a copy if possible.

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