The Link Between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor

This book is the first to present new medical research establishing a connection between religion and health and to examine the implications for Eastern and Western religious traditions and for society and culture. The distinguished list of contributors examine a series of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) topics that relate to religious faith and behavior. PNI studies the relationships between mental states and the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Among the issues it focuses upon are how mental states, in general, and belief states, in particular, affect physical health. The contributors argue that religious involvement and belief can affect certain neuroendocrine and immune mechanisms, and that these mechanisms, in turn, positively affect a wide variety of health outcomes, such as susceptibility to cancer and recovery following surgery. This volume is essential reading for those interested in the relationship between religion and health.