As part of a larger planned collaborative research project – bringing scholars together with clinicians, patients, religious groups, and policy-makers – I am working on four case studies of ‘religion-psy interaction’ that help give us a sense of the bigger picture across modern India, Japan, and the UK.
In India, I am looking at the rise of a kind of ‘Christian psychiatry’ at two path-breaking mental health institutions after Independence in 1947: Nur Manzil in Lucknow and the Mental Health Centre at Christian Medical College, Vellore.
Drs Florence Nichols and Rose Chacko (Vellore), and Dr Erna Hoch (Lucknow) are important focal points for the research – all pioneering psychiatrists in the 1950s and 1960s, when ideas in psychiatry were changing rapidly and some in India, Japan, and the West were beginning to ask where ‘mental health’ ends and ‘spirituality’ begins…
In Japan, I am working on psychiatrist and pioneer of hospice care, Kashiwagi Tetsuo, and on Tohoku University’s ‘Department of Practical Religious Studies’ – opened after the triple disasters in March 2011, to train ‘clinical chaplains’ from all religions to offer effective care rooted in the modern psy disciplines (psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy).
I’ll post occasional updates to this page, along with articles, papers, and links – starting with a working paper setting out the project in more detail. My main blog is here.