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Healthy Religiosity and Salutary Faith: Clarification of Concepts from the Perspectives of Psychology, Psychiatry and of Theology

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The object of this research is to clarify the concepts 'healthy religiosity' and 'salutary faith' in order to provide criteria for the assessment of a person's faith both in (mental) health care and in pastoral care. Based on the scientific literature, a questionnaire composed according to the Delphi method was presented in several rounds to a panel of psychologists/psychiatrists and theologians.

The preferred 'translation' of the English term 'mature religion', chosen as an encompassing term, into Dutch was 'integrated faith'; another favoured term was 'adult faith'.

Six core elements achieved consensus: sincerity, amazement, inspiration, identity, integrity, openness. Twenty-one (21) criteria could be clustered into three factors: 'Orientation to higher values out of a sense of inner freedom', 'Trust in God pervades the entire life', 'Responsibility for fellow humans and creation'.

After due reflection on the outcomes, it is proposed that justice should be done to all relevant dimensions of human existence by extending the biopsychosocial model to a biopsychosocial-spiritual model, abbreviated to BPSS.


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Affiliations: 1: Tilburg University; 2: Radboud University Nijmegen; 3: Free University; 4: Utrecht University; Tilburg University


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