Effort to Solidify Research in Religion & Health
By John Graham
October 9th, 2013
The University of Michigan recently announced it has received an $ 8 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to structure a program that will better identify the relationship between religion, spirituality and health.
Neal Krause, the Marshall H. Becker Collegiate Professor of the department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U of Michigan said in a news release: “There is convincing evidence that religion can be associated with better health, but the literature provides a complex picture. It is more accurate to say that religion appears to improve the health of some but not all people. In fact, there is some evidence that there may be harmful aspects of religious involvement for some individuals. The only way to unify a field is to develop a deliberate plan to do so. So far this has not happened in the religion and health field.”
The release also says: “With the grant, Krause and colleagues will address major gaps in the literature, including expanding the ages, types of religion and practices of those surveyed. A number of previous studies focused on college students or a small segment that does not represent the general population, such as a specific denomination. Research also often centers on a single aspect of religion, such as prayer.”
“The team will draw upon a 3,000-member sample of people 18 and older from across the U.S., and will focus on a number of dimensions of religious life. The research sets up the infrastructure to follow people over time and gather data on various biomarkers—blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, immune function, glucose levels, inflammation associated with heart disease—and measure them against a full complement of religion measures.”
The full article is found here: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21735-u-m-to-lead-major-effort-to-solidify-research-on-religion-and-health