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Launch of Centre for Religion, Health and Wellbeing

'Now that society is becoming more and more diverse, it is definitely important to study health and wellbeing from academic perspectives that pay attention to the role of religion and culture.'
23 November 2018
Remembrance tree

How can existential questions about Groningen and Drenthe's earthquake area be guided? How do religious communities contribute to sexual wellbeing? How do people ascribe meaning to loss? These questions will be central to the symposium on 30 November, which marks the launch of the Centre for Religion, Health and Wellbeing at the University of Groningen's (UG) Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. The Centre will research how people's spiritual and physical wellbeing is tied to meaning, world-views, religion and culture.

Religion, health and wellbeing

What is health? What is wellbeing? In the Netherlands, these apparently simple questions are often only answered from a biomedical perspective. How people experience wellbeing, however, is partly determined by their experiences. Contexts influence what people find healthy or unhealthy. The Centre for Religion, Health and Wellbeing asks that attention be paid to these discrepancies. The aim of the Centre is to enhance people’s spiritual and physical wellbeing through researching the ascription of meaning and world-views in care and the role of cultural and religious diversity.

The Centre

The Centre offers a collaborative platform to academics from various disciplines who are concerned with questions about religion, health and wellbeing. Academics of Religious Studies, anthropologists, psychologists, theologists and philosophers will work together with societal partners such as mental healthcare institutions, hospitals, religious communities, wellbeing organizations and the government. The Centre is a part of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and is connected to the UG's Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health.

Expertise

Researchers at the Centre have the following expertise:

  • Spiritual care – in hospitals, hospices, mental healthcare institutions, youth care, palliative care (relief), care in disaster situations, etc.
  • The ascription of meaning and wellbeing in healthcare (institutional and non-institutional)
  • Ethics and healthcare
  • Religion and sexual wellbeing
  • Dealing with loss and death
  • Cultural and religious diversity in healthcare (institutional and non-institutional)

Collaboration

Dr. Kim Knibbe , Director of the Centre for Religion, Health and Wellbeing, is very much looking forward to the collaboration between various disciplines and with other colleagues: ‘Health and wellbeing are such important themes for people. I find it fascinating to research how people find ways to improve their health and wellbeing by themselves, also through all kinds of religious practices. Although the medical world sometimes views this with suspicion, it is very much a reality. It is of great importance to conduct high-quality, thorough research in this area with respect for people's experiences. In addition, many different sectors of society are beginning to realize the importance of the ascription of meaning for wellbeing and health. Now that society is becoming more and more diverse, it is definitely important to study health and wellbeing from academic perspectives that pay attention to the role of religion and culture. I am very much looking forward to the collaboration between various disciplines represented in this Centre and also with colleagues in the broader sense of the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health.’

Symposium 30 November: The Meaning of Wellbeing

On the occasion of its launch, the Centre is organizing a symposium about earthquakes, sexual wellbeing and death. How do people ascribe meaning to loss? How can existential questions regarding Groningen and Drenthe's earthquake area be guided? How do religious communities contribute to sexual wellbeing?

Last modified:30 November 2018 2.01 p.m.

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