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The Role of Spirituality in Integrative Preventive Medicine: The Postmaterialist Paradigm 

The Role of Spirituality in Integrative Preventive Medicine: The Postmaterialist Paradigm
Chapter:
The Role of Spirituality in Integrative Preventive Medicine: The Postmaterialist Paradigm
Author(s):

Gary E. Schwartz

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190241254.003.0008
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date: 19 September 2018

Substantial research documents a positive association between religious practice and improved health and well-being. Research on the relationship between spirituality and health is less developed but also positive. Generally speaking, Western science and medicine explain these positive associations via psychological and social mechanisms rather than spiritual (or “metaphysical”) ones. However, contemporary theory and research in consciousness science, including research on near-death experiences and life after death, are pointing to a profound paradigm change in science, shifting from conventional materialist models of nature and the cosmos to postmaterialist models. This chapter introduces the reader to the emerging postmaterialist paradigm in science and considers some of its important implications for understanding and applying spirituality in integrative preventive medicine.

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