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The Emperor's new clothes: Spirituality: a concept based on questionable ontology and circular findings
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2012 (English)In: Archive for the Psychology of Religion/ Archiv für Religionspsychologie, ISSN 0084-6724, Vol. 34, no 1, 17-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

‘Spirituality’ is an old word which throughout history has been given different meanings. Overthe last two decades, it has successively become an increasingly frequent concept in scientificstudies, none the least in psychosocial oncology. Advocates of ‘spirituality’ regard it as a humandimension and state that since all humans have ‘spiritual needs’ it is urgent to develop ‘spiritualcare’. With the focus on recent publications, this article critically scrutinizes aspects of scientificsoundness in this growing research tradition, foremost problems of the lack of conceptual clarityand reliance on interconnected instruments that imply circular findings. It is concluded that theconcept adds more confusion than clarity if it is not put into a meaningful theoretical and culturalcontext, and subsequently it is important to guard against preconceptions and vague meaningsin this research field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2012. Vol. 34, no 1, 17-32 p.
Keyword [en]
cancer, connectedness, existential, meaning, psychosocial, spirituality
National Category
Psychology Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56452DOI: 10.1163/157361212X645241ISI: 000305870400003OAI: diva2:534846
Available from: 2012-06-18 Created: 2012-06-18 Last updated: 2012-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Salander, Pär
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Department of Social Work
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