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Spirituality and Health

Call for Papers

An increasing number of studies have examined the connection between spirituality/religiosity, quality of life, and health. However, the impact of spirituality on health is multishaded and a matter of methodological controversy because one has to deal with cognitive approaches, subsequent practices, specific behaviors, reactive strategies, and interventions (i.e., praying, meditation, and mindfulness). Because of this complexity, an interdisciplinary perspective seems appropriate.

This special issue is thus open for any approach from different disciplines which will shed new light on the impact of spirituality on health and illness. As spirituality we would broadly define all attempts to find meaning, purpose, and hope in relation to the Sacred (which may have either a religious or a nonreligious connotation), as a commitment to a higher principle in life which has an impact on cognition, emotion, and behavior.

We invite investigators to contribute original research and review articles. Besides epidemiological and interventional trials and review articles, we also encourage profound theoretical articles which describe the framework of this unique field of integrative medicine. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Epidemiological studies on the interconnection of health and specific aspects of religiosity/ spirituality
  • Studies on the impact of secular forms of spirituality on health
  • Interventional studies on specific practices, that is meditation, mindfulness, praying, forgiveness, and so on
  • Analysis of spiritual needs of patients with chronic diseases
  • Spiritual transformation in response to chronic health or severe trauma
  • Profound hypotheses and models regarding the mode of action (amenable to empirical testing)
  • Neurohormonal approaches to spirituality and health

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 7 June 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 30 August 2013
Publication DateFriday, 25 October 2013

Lead Guest Editor

  • Arndt B├╝ssing, Department of Quality of Life, Spirituality and Coping, Center for Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, 58448 Witten, Germany

Guest Editors

  • Klaus Baumann, Department of Caritas Sciences and Christian Social Work, Faculty of Theology, University of Freiburg, 79085 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
  • Niels Christian Hvidt, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark
  • Harold G. Koenig, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA
  • Christina M. Puchalski, George Washington Institute for Spirituality & Health, George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Washington, DC 20036, USA
  • John Swinton, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, King's College University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UB, UK