Peter Kevern



JSS 3.1

Past News

JSS 3.1 Can Cognitive Science Rescue ‘Spiritual Care’ from a Metaphysical Backwater? An Argument for More Theory

by Dr Peter Kevern, Staffordshire University, UK
Journal for the Study of Spirituality 3, no. 1, 2013, pp. 8-17

‘Spiritual care’ has a valued but precarious place in contemporary UK health care. Although the term is widely used, it only attracts significant attention and resources related to care at the end of life; elsewhere, spiritual care is often under-resourced and perfunctory. The author argues that a major reason for this is that proponents of spiritual care have so far failed to speak a language comprehensible to practitioners and health managers more familiar with reductionist, evidence-based work. He proposes that current developments in the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion have the potential to provide such a language, and to refocus a subject that has been muddled by conceptual vagueness and the multiplication of assessment tools. As a result, attention to spirituality could be liberated from its current ghetto in palliative and long-term care and become more firmly embedded and integrated into everyday nursing practice.

To read the full article, click here.