1st Edition

Culture, Spirituality and Religious Literacy in Healthcare Nordic Perspectives

Edited By Daniel Enstedt, Lisen Dellenborg Copyright 2024
    258 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Elaborating with the concepts of culture and religious literacy, this volume examines theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of the practice and study of religion and non-religion, culture, spirituality and worldviews within healthcare.

    In modern multi-cultural and multi-religious societies, a host of new issues have arisen concerning culture, religion and spirituality within healthcare, especially when people face serious and life-limiting illness. Healthcare professionals are faced with challenges addressing and handling patients’ cultural expressions of religiosity, spirituality and existential concerns. The variety needs to be met without essentializing the concepts of culture and religion, and with an ability to include the non-religious as well as new types of spiritualities. This collection reflects on the tension between cultural, religious and spiritual dimensions of care in a secularized healthcare institution and describes implications of this tension for healthcare professionals and patients. The book engages with an ongoing scholarly discussion about religious literacy in healthcare, and contributes perspectives, experiences and empirical examples from the Nordic countries, especially Sweden. It gives suggestions for practical application of research to healthcare practice, highlighting challenges and ideas for how to integrate religious, non-religious, and spiritual dimensions in care.

    This is an important contribution to the literature on religious literacy and provides a vital reference for students, scholars and healthcare professionals with an interest in the complex relationship between culture, spirituality, and religion in healthcare.

    Chapter 6 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

    1.     Introducing Perspectives on Cultural and Religious Literacy in Healthcare

    Lisen Dellenborg & Daniel Enstedt

    PART I. Experiences and tensions in healthcare encounters 

    2.     Learning together: Developing cultural and religious literacy at the workplace

    Tone Lindheim

    3.     Cultural encounters and religion in palliative care: Religious literacy and secular healthcare in multi-religious Sweden

    Lisen Dellenborg & Daniel Enstedt

    4.     When religiosity and healthcare merge: Case studies on sanctification of healthcare interventions with implications for religious literacy

    Mikael Lundmark

    5.     Culture of childbirth, midwifery and spirituality in an Icelandic context

    Ólöf Ásta Ólafsdóttir

    6.     Perceived Religious Discrimination in Healthcare: A Qualitative Study of Formal Complaints

    Lise Eriksson, Victor Dudas, Aje Carlbom & Birgitta Essén

    7.     Muslim women caregivers in elderly care in Finland

    Shahnaj Begum


    PART II. Existential care and person-centred care

    8.     Making Sense of Existential Care: A sociological reconsideration of the existential for the study of chaplaincy

    Erika Willander

    9.     Religious literacy and person-centred care

    Emma Lundberg


    PART III. Overcoming Religious and cultural illiteracy in healthcare  

    10.  The DöBra cards:A tool to support death literacy?

    Malin Eneslätt, Therese Johansson, Krister Stoor & Carol Tishelman

    11.  Magic, religion, and spirituality in a secularised institution: An anthropological gaze at Swedish healthcare

    Lisen Dellenborg

    12.  Understanding religion, non-religion, and spirituality in healthcare

    Daniel Enstedt

    13.  The Sense of Wonder as a necessary ‘philosophical literacy’ in healthcare

    Finn Thorbjørn Hansen

    14.  Afterword

    Panagiotis Pentaris


    Daniel Enstedt is Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in religious studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Lisen Dellenborg has a PhD in Social Anthropology and is Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.