Culture, spirituality, religion and health: looking at the big picture

Med J Aust. 2007 May 21;186(S10):S54-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01042.x.


Religion provides things that are good for health and wellbeing, including social support, existential meaning, a sense of purpose, a coherent belief system and a clear moral code. But these benefits can also come from other sources. Conversely, religion is shaped by its social context in ways that affect its social role. Religion is no panacea when it comes to improving health. Religion's role in health needs to be examined in a broad context, especially the ways in which culture influences religion's expression of the spiritual.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Australia
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Social Environment
  • Spirituality*