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Medicine, Religion, and Health

Where Science and Spirituality Meet

Harold G. Koenig

Medicine, Religion, and Health: Where Science and Spirituality Meet will be the first title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this, the series' maiden volume, Dr. Harold G. Koenig provides an overview of the relationship between health care and religion that manages to be comprehensive yet concise, factual yet inspirational, and technical yet easily accessible to nonspecialists and general readers.

Focusing on the scientific basis for integrating spirituality into medicine, Koenig carefully summarizes major trends, controversies, and the latest research from a wide variety of disciplines and provides plausible and compelling theoretical explanations for what has thus far emerged in this relatively young field of study. Medicine, Religion, and Health begins by defining the principal terms and then moves on to a brief history of the role that religion has played in medicine before delving into the current state of research. Koenig devotes several chapters to exploring the outcomes of specific studies in fields such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. The book concludes with a review of the clinical applications that can be derived from the research. Koenig also supplies several detailed appendices that will aid readers of all levels looking for further information.

Medicine, Religion, and Health will shed new light on important contemporary issues and will whet readers' appetites for more information on this fascinating, complex, and controversial area of research, clinical activity, and popular discussion. It will find a welcome home on the bookshelves of students, researchers, clinicians, and other health professionals in a variety of disciplines.

"Dr. Koenig's lifelong research success fully bridges the chasm between health and well-being on the one side, and religion and spirituality on the other. In so doing, we are given scientifically based guidelines that allow us to be happier and more-fulfilled." &mdashHerbert Benson, MD, director emeritus, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

Introduction / 3

Chapter 1: Terms of the Debate / 9

Chapter 2: Medicine in the Twenty-first Century / 21

Chapter 3: From Mind to Body / 37

Chapter 4: Religion and Health / 54

Chapter 5: Mental Health / 68

Chapter 6: The Immune and Endocrine Systems / 82

Chapter 7: The Cardiovascular System / 96

Chapter 8: Diseases Related to Stress and Behavior / 113

Chapter 9: Longevity / 129

Chapter 10: Physical Disability / 146

Chapter 11: Clinical Applications / 156

Chapter 12: Final Thoughts / 172

Appendix: Further Resources / 175

Notes / 195

Index / 227