"Drawing on a wide range of methodologies, this book documents a diverse portfolio of religious responses to HIV and AIDS at the local and global levels in sites from sub-Saharan Africa to New York City. The volume goes beyond the psychology of religion, which is often based on how religion is used to cope with illness. It seeks to examine the role of religious institutions and cultures as key players in civil society, and to examine not only psychological factors, but social, cultural, economic and political dimensions of religious responses to the AIDS epidemic. At times religious movements have provided powerful forces for community mobilisation in response to the social vulnerability, economic exclusion and health problems associated with HIV. In other contexts, religious cultures have reproduced values and practices that have seriously impeded more effective approaches to mitigate the epidemic. By highlighting these complex and sometimes contradictory social processes, this book provides new insights into the potential for religious institutions to address the HIV epidemic more effectively. More broadly, it shows how research can be done on religion in the area of global public health, showing how civil society organizations shape opportunities for health promotion: a crucial and new area of global public health research.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Global Public Health."