Health and Religion
The article selected for the exploration purpose is a literature review of the sources about the intervention and the overall impacts of religion in a society, typically over the perspective of health. It covers the readings dated from as early as 1967 (Berger: The Sociology of Religion) to the latest of the year 2008 (Schnall et al.: The relationship between religion.). By reading and understanding the entire article, it would become vivid that the author(s) has not proposed something of his own yet has just identified certain influences of having religious intentions over one’s health. The research is qualitative in nature in which the work from different books and scholarly articles has been presented in order to support the arguments for beneficial impacts of religion over health.
The purpose of this research is to identify that how religion has been incorporated in social lives and how it is used to avoid illness, retrieve from any chronic illness and to stay healthy and alive for long. Statistics have been presented regarding mortality rates, morbidity, social values and problems such as hypertension and depression and it is shown through research that religion has been helpful in the treatment of these diseases. The article argues that religion plays its role both on individual and social levels and builds a better society through the purification of individuals (Bell et al., 2005). Studies have been presented which depict that people who remain adhere with religious preaching and teachings suffer less than those who keep away from religion. Such people are more likely to suffer with diseases caused by substance abuse and mental depression; which include circulatory, digestive and psychological diseases. However, it is important to note that none of the research depicts how religion does such miracles in people’s lives and how health outcomes become progressive and improved (Aten & Schenk, 2007).
Although the societies have now become more of secular and non-religious since the era of enlightenment and modernity, yet the role of religion in any society cannot be denied. Debates have been presented over the extent of religion in a society; identifying that religion must have some influences over the social lives of people. It has been an important topic in sociology since the subject has arrived, and even the sociologists from the history have identified those social factors which can only be accounted with the incorporation of religion. They have agreed that religion is a contributing factor towards the wellbeing of humans living in a society, since it teaches rules and principles of being a beneficial human being. It involves a set of social morals and ethics which propel the individuals to built order and regulations in their society and maintain good physical and mental health in the same way. Thus the article presents one of the most important social factors contributing towards the field of sociology, i.e., impacts of religion over health.
The article is certainly in a contrast with those presented in non-scholarly periodicals, magazines and newspapers. Usually, non-scholarly articles lack the depth of research which has been carried out in this article since these are presented from the author’s point of view. In this article, the author has presented none of his own arguments except the findings from research and literature reviews. He has covered a large number of books, articles and research in other forms to support that religion plays an important role in improving people’s health, but since the research does not prove how it is done, the author has also left the question mark over why and how religion soothes people’s inner and derives them towards being modest and compassionate.
Aten, J. D. & Schenk, J.E. (2007). Reflections on religion and health research: An interview with Dr. Harold G. Koenig. Journal of Religion and Health, 46(2):183-190. Retrieved January 12, 2010 from EBSCO online database, Academic Search Complete http://search.ebscohost.com.libdatab.strayer.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=24940472&site=ehost-live.Bell, R.A., Suerken, C., Quandt, S.A., Grzywacz, J.G., Lang, W. & Arcury, T.A. (2005). Prayer for health among U.S. adults: The 2002 National Health Interview Survey. Complementary Health Practice Review, 10(3):175-188. Retrieved January 15, 2010 from Sage Journals http://chp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/10/3/175Berger, P. (1967). The Sociology of Religion. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Schnall, E. et al., (2008). The relationship between religion and cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality in the women's health initiative observational study. Journal of Psychology & Health, 25, 2, 249-263.