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Secular take on religious beliefs and health



Seventy-one percent of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit, and 80 percent of blacks and 61 percent of Latinos say these beliefs are very important in their lives, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“For those of us interested in reducing health disparities, this may be particularly important,” said Alexandra Shields, HMS associate professor of medicine and director of the Harvard-MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations and Health Disparities, as she kicked off the “Spirituality, Health and Health Disparities Symposium” at Harvard Medical School on Dec. 4, 2014.

“We can’t afford to ignore the potential effect of spirituality and religion on health,” Shields said.

Can religious and spiritual beliefs negatively affect health outcomes if people resist treatment because they are putting themselves in the hands of God? Or can spiritual belief and hope be positively leveraged in healing? These were the questions Shields and other speakers debated.

Continue:   https://hms.harvard.edu/news/spirituality-healing

Edited by markdohle


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