Special Issue "Religions and Public Health: Critical Insights from Religious Studies"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John Blevins

Interfaith Health Program, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health; Affiliate Faculty, Graduate Division of Religion, Laney Graduate School, 1518 Clifton Rd., CNR 8043, Emory University
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Religions and Global Health and Development; Religions and Sexual and Reproductive Health; Religions and Global HIV; Religious Perspectives on Health and Illness

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the editors of the journal Religions, I invite you to submit a paper to be considered for publication in an upcoming special issue that will examine the topic of religions and public health and development. For nearly two decades now, a small but growing group of scholars and researchers who study public health and development in a variety of global contexts have joined practitioners in the field to make the case that religion is a significant social force that affects health beliefs, behaviors, policies, and programs around the world. Their efforts have largely proven successful and interest in religion has grown among researchers in the fields of public health and development studies. Reflecting the interests and priorities of these fields, many researchers have sought to measure the impact of religion in relation to public health and development goals by defining religion according to measurable, functional indicators such as religious attendance or numbers of patients served in a faith-based health facility. As a result, much of the research on the topic to date has focused on measuring the health and social development activities of local faith communities and faith-based organizations.

However, religion’s influence on public health and development is variable and complex and could be analyzed in other ways; the primary focus among researchers to date has not advanced those other approaches by and large. However, a body of scholarship that analyzes the intersection of religion and public health and development using the analytical tools of religious and theological studies is growing.  This special issue can provide a significant contribution to this effort.

Articles for this special issue should provide an analysis of the influences of religion on public health and development by describing alignments and/or tensions between these domains. We encourage papers that provide an even-handed, critical assessment on this topic by employing concepts and methodologies often employed in religious studies or related disciplines. Papers from scholars or practitioners are encouraged and papers from multiple authors representing a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are especially welcome. We seek to explore a variety of global contexts in the issue and so representation from various religious traditions and spiritual practices, geographic regions, historical periods, and disciplinary approaches will play a role in determining the papers chosen for inclusion.

Prof. Dr. John Blevins
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • religion and health
  • public health
  • global health
  • development studies
  • cultural studies and health
  • medical anthropology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Interaction Effects of Religiosity Level on the Relationship between Religion and Willingness to Donate Organs
Religions 2019, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010008
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 24 December 2018
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This study aims to investigate the interaction effect of religiosity level on the relationship between religion and willingness to donate organs. Prior studies have suggested that a high level of religiosity indicates a high level of willingness to donate organs. However, these previous [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the interaction effect of religiosity level on the relationship between religion and willingness to donate organs. Prior studies have suggested that a high level of religiosity indicates a high level of willingness to donate organs. However, these previous works ignore the interaction effect of the level of religiosity and the doctrinal characteristics of each religion regarding one’s own body preservation. Organ donation is an act of transplanting part of one’s own body after death to another person and is influenced by the viewpoint of the post-mortem world and the attitude toward the preservation of the body. Therefore, this study analyzes the effects of religious characteristics and belief levels on the relationship between religion and organ donation. Results show that Christianity, such as Catholicism and Protestantism, positively affects the willingness to donate organs as compared with Buddhism. Religiosity level also exerts an interaction effect that strengthens the relationship between Christianity and willingness to donate organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Public Health: Critical Insights from Religious Studies)
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