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Religions 2018, 9(1), 32;

Psychiatry, a Secular Discipline in a Postsecular World? A Review

Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Hospital Middelfart, Middelfart 5500, Denmark
Research Unit of General Practice, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C 5000, Denmark
Center for Psychiatric Nursing and Health Research, Institute of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Middelfart 5500, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Public Role of Religion)
PDF [226 KB, uploaded 22 January 2018]


Postsecular theory is developing in academic circles, including the psychiatric field. By asking what the postsecular perspective might imply for the secular discipline of psychiatry, the aim of this study was to examine the postsecular perspective in relation to the secular nature of psychiatry, by way of a narrative review. In a systematic search for literature, relevant articles were identified and analyzed thematically. Thirteen articles were included, and three intertextual themes were identified, which represented ongoing international dialogues in relation to psychiatry and religion—such as intervention, integration, identity, the religious or irreligious psychiatrist, and the multicultural setting of the discipline. Furthermore, the postsecular perspective reveals a (potential) bias against the religious worldviews inherent in the secular. Postsecular theory can contribute to the ongoing discussions of how psychiatry, as a secular discipline, approaches the religious in the lives of patients and psychiatrists. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychiatry; religion; secular; postsecular psychiatry; religion; secular; postsecular
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Damberg Nissen, R.; Gildberg, F.A.; Hvidt, N.C. Psychiatry, a Secular Discipline in a Postsecular World? A Review. Religions 2018, 9, 32.

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