Date of Award
Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies
Holistic Health Studies
Religion and the Church; medicine and healing. Interconnected before the time of Descartes, these integral domains have experienced significant change in recent decades as people have become disillusioned with conventional biomedicine and institutional Christianity. More people are seeking holistic forms of healing—perhaps once again reuniting body, mind, and spirit, as a bone resetting from a centuries-old fracture or dislocation. The purpose of this research is to explore the use of Eastern and energy-based forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by Christian religious professionals. Based on a qualitative culture of inquiry, we conducted 10 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with individual clergy members, chaplains, spiritual directors, and religious educators/professors, representing diverse denominational affiliations. Following thematic data analysis, results suggest some Christian professionals experience a significant paradigm shift in their spiritual lives concurrent with their CAM use, as they embrace a more open view of spirituality. Results also indicate an increased awareness of the interconnectedness of mind-body-spirit, and a greater propensity for self-care. Implications for future research include expanding the sample size of participants and widening the scope to include more diversity, as well as implications for churches and clergy health are also provided. The findings provide insight for the trending phenomena of medical and spiritual pluralism.
Collins, Jennifer L. and Sampers, Cynthia J.. (2015). Exploring the Use of CAM and Its Influence on the Spiritual Lives of Christian Religious Professionals. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/ma_hhs/23