Religion in Aging and Health: Theoretical Foundations and Methodological Frontiers

Religion in Aging and Health: Theoretical Foundations and Methodological Frontiers

  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

How does religion influence one's aging and health? Religion in Aging and Health brings together key scholars and scientists from several fields to advance epidemiologic and gerontological research into the role of religion in physical and mental health, psychological well-being, and other psychosocial and health outcomes. The first part of the volume contains four chapters that provide a theoretical context for this field, and addresses such issues as hope, forgiveness, the psychodynamics of faith and belief, and coping. The second part seeks to advance the methodological sophistication of research in this area and emphasizes measurement and design issues and the study of religion, aging, and health among African Americans. With contributions from such distinguished people as Harold G. Koenig, David B. Larson, Robert Joseph Taylor, and Dan G. Blazer, Religion in Aging and Health is essential reading for all those interested in gerontology, psychology, sociology, nursing and health, and social work. “There is an extensive literature documenting the salutary effect of religion on human health and well-being. Yet, this literature is largely ignored in mainstream medicine and social science. The essays in this book take stock of the empirical studies, reflect on the reasons why they have had such little impact, and provide direction for future reflection and research.” –Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease “Levin's book lives up to its subtitle. It is a solid castigation of researchers who have long ignored the role of religion in late life mental health…. Anyone doing quantitative research on religion or health or aging can benefit from this book's suggestions…. Author and subject indexes finish off this well-edited book.” –Clinical Gerontologist “This volume is supported by thorough sets of references and by perceptive suggestions for further study and research. The time is right for a creative partnership between practical theology and social gerontology to further this debate.” –Church of England Newspaper “The book's stated purpose is to provide theoretical and methodological resources to support a growing body of research on the interactions among religion, aging, and health. Overall, the book makes a substantial contribution toward its goal. In addition, it makes a significant contribution by reviewing substantive knowledge in a number of areas related to the central topics…. The material is readable and jargon is kept to a minimum.” –Robert C. Atchley, Director, Scripps Gerontology Center, Oxford, Ohio “These essays show that when it is conceptualized more carefully, and measured with greater precision, religiosity may be a surprisingly powerful predictor of health status and general life satisfaction, especially among the aging.” –George W. Patterson in Religious Studies Review

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