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Problematic Rapprochement Strategies 

Problematic Rapprochement Strategies
Problematic Rapprochement Strategies

Michael J. Balboni

, and Tracy A. Balboni

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date: 28 October 2020

Current rapprochement strategies for medicine and spirituality are in tension with three distinct constituencies: skeptics, spiritual generalists, and religious particularists. Each constituency needs to compromise without losing its core values. Skeptics need to reconsider partnership with religion. Skeptics would gain by having an alliance with the social force of religions, which may alone can resist expanding market and bureaucratic forces. Spiritual generalists should move away from insisting that generic spirituality be accepted by all while still having a place at the table to advocate for their particular view. Distancing the movement of spirituality and health from religion provides some short-term gains but will unlikely lead to medicine’s meaningful transformation. Religious particularists must embrace both a functional definition of religion and the importance of empirical research of spirituality and religion. While finding common ground between these diverse groups is challenging given our current social context, new strategies are necessary for rapprochement.

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