Spirituality and risk: Toward an understanding

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Abstract

To be fully healthy is to risk encountering and embracing the complex substrate of mysterious life-giving and lifedenying spiritual forces, the hidden wholeness of God. Risky health behavior may paradoxically arise from the psychospiritual need to both probe and avoid probing the deeper understandings of health reflected in the tensions between good and evil. Avoidance of the painful truths of poverty, racism, sexism, and classism among other evils in our society results in the prevalence of high-risk life styles, addictions, and violent behaviors. Spiritual paradigms from holistic community care are needed to enable communities to more fully respond to the health empowering potential of the hidden wholeness rather than hiding from it.

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