Scientific Committee

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Prof. Arndt Büssing, MD (Head)

University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Quality of Life, Spirituality and Coping, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany
  • Member of the Commission C, Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products (BfArM)
  • Scientific Assistant, Professorship for Medicine Theory and Complementary Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany


  • Spirituality, quality of life and coping
  • Development of questionnaires for the quality of life research

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Prof. Dr. Fereshteh Ahmadi

University of Gävle, Sweden

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Sociology, Department of Social Work and Psychology, University of Gävle, Sweden


  • Religious and spiritual coping
  • Music and coping


Prof. Dr. Donia Baldacchino

University of Malta, Malta

Curriculum vitae

  • Associate Professor, University of Malta, Malta
  • Visiting Professor, University of South Wales, Wales
  • Adjunct Faculty Member, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA


  • Religion and spirituality in nursing care
  • Spiritual care education of health care professionals

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Prof. Dr. theol. Klaus Baumann

University of Freiburg, Germany

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Caritas Science, Faculty of Theology, University of Freiburg, Germany


  • Interdisciplinary dialogue theology - human and social sciences
  • Caritas theology, history and spirituality

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Prof. Arjan Braam, MD

University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Curriculum vitae

  • Extraordinary Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Psychiatrist at the Emergency Department of Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Instructor in Psychiatry at Altrecht Mental Health, Utrecht, The Netherlands


  • Worldviews and public mental health with particular attention for psychiatry
  • Religious resources and depression

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Prof. Dr. med. Jean-Marc Burgunder

University Hospital Bern, Switzerland

Curriculum vitae

  • Visiting Professor of Neurogenetics, Sichuan University of Chengdu and Central South University of Changsha, China
  • Adjunct Professor of Neurology, Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • Neurologist and Konsiliar for Neurogenetics, University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland
  • Head of the Swiss Huntington Competence Center in the Foundation Siloah, Gümligen, Switzerland


  • Experimental neurology, neurogenetics
  • Neuroscience and spirituality

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Prof. Dr. Mary Rute G. Esperandio

Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Brazil

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Theology, Pontifical Catholic University of Parana (PUCPR), Brazil


  • Integration of spirituality into patient care / health care

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Ass. Prof. Dr. Barbara Hanfstingl

University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Curriculum vitae

  • Assistant Professor at the Institute for Teaching and School Development, University of Klagenfurt, Austria


  • Psychology of learning and teaching, connection of implicit and explicit knowledge systems
  • Development of resilience

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René Hefti, MD

Research Institute for Spirituality and Health RISH, Langenthal, Switzerland

Curriculum vitae

  • Head of the Research Institute for Spirituality and Health (RISH), Langenthal, Switzerland
  • Lecturer for psychosocial medicine, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • Medical Consultant, Clinic SGM, Langenthal, Switzerland


  • Stress and religious coping in chronic pain
  • Doctors' beliefs and medical practice

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Prof. Dr. theol. Niels Christian Hvidt

University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Curriculum vitae

  • Associate Professor, Research Unit of Health, Man, and Society, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Coordinator for Interdisciplinary Nordic Network for Research in Faith and Health


  • Impact of values of physicians on motivation, communication, and ethics in diverse cultures
  • Religious coping

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Dr. phil. Constantin Klein, Dipl.-Psych. Dipl.-Theol.

University of Bielefeld, Germany

Curriculum vitae

  • Scientific Assistant at the Faculty of Theology (Chair of Religious Education), University of Bielefeld, Germany


  • Development and improvement of methods of empirical research on religion
  • Religiosity an physical / mental health

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Prof. Harold G. Koenig, MD

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

King Abdulazis University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor for Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Adjunct Professor of Public Health, Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, P. R. China


  • Religion, medicine and health
  • Integration of religion and spirituality in health care

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Prof. Piotr Krakowiak, PhD

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Social Work, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland
  • Professor of Pastoral Psychology, WSD SAC Oltarzew, Warsaw, Poland
  • National Chaplain of Hospices in Poland


  • Hospice-palliative care, non-medical issues of end-of-life care and bereavement
  • Spiritual and pastoral care

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Peter La Cour, PhD

Gedhjem, Denmark

Curriculum vitae

  • Leader of Knowledge Center for Functional Diseases, Psychiatry Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Clinical authorized by Danish Psychological Association and authorized specialist in health psychology by Danish Health Board


  • Religion and mental health
  • Religion and chronic pain

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Prof. Kevin L. Ladd, PhD

Indiana University, South Bend, USA

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor of Psychology, Indiana University, South Bend, USA


  • Mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of prayer / psychology of prayer
  • Role of prayer in health care settings

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Ass. Prof. Dr. Tatjana Schnell

University of Innsbruck, Austria

Curriculum vitae

  • Associate Professor, in charge of Personality and Individual Differences, Institute of Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Austria


  • Personality and differential psychology
  • Empirical meaning research

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Katarzyna Skrzypinska, PhD

University of Gdansk, Poland

Curriculum vitae

  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Poland


  • Spirituality, personality and health


Prof. Dr. John Swinton

Kings College, University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Curriculum vitae

  • Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, King's College, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom


  • Spirituality, health and disability / dementia and mental health
  • Nursing, ministry and health care chaplaincy