Article

Culture, arts and health: A multi-disciplinary Swedish perspective

Article

Culture, arts and health: A multi-disciplinary Swedish perspective

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Abstract

The primary aim of this article is to introduce how culture and health, as a field of enquiry as well as practice, is organized conceptually in Sweden. A secondary and minor aim is to launch a more general discussion of the relationship between ‘culture’, ‘arts’ and ‘health’ and their implication for multi-disciplinary research. After introducing how ‘Culture and Health’ as an academic as well as applied field of enquiry has been introduced in Sweden and giving some examples of current research, I relate this project to a more general discussion of definitions of health and culture in a Swedish and an English-speaking setting. In particular, I show that ‘Culture and Health’ in a Swedish setting encompasses both ‘Arts and Health’ and ‘Medical Humanities’. Finally, I offer some pragmatic considerations on why a multi-disciplinary perspective is vital for ‘Culture and Health’, ending up in a concluding presentation of the implications of this multi-disciplinarity for the organization of the field of ‘Culture and Health’ in Sweden.

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... in Sweden, arts and health is supported at policy level and, from 2000 cultural activity, has officially been acknowledged as an important vehicle for public health work. 4,5 in 2007, the Swedish Parliament initiated the Culture and Health Association, which has served as a political pressure group for culture and health. Many large-scale culture and health initiatives have been initiated at both regional and national levels. ...
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United States, and Nagoya, Japan. The author of twenty books and anthologies, among them Heavenly Bodies (forthcoming) and Culture and Health (2015), he is also active as a cultural journalist and commentator in Swedish media
Ola Sigurdson is Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Centre for Culture and Health at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He has held visiting scholarships in Uppsala, Sweden, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Princeton, United States, and Nagoya, Japan. The author of twenty books and anthologies, among them Heavenly Bodies (forthcoming) and Culture and Health (2015), he is also active as a cultural journalist and commentator in Swedish media. Currently, he is editing a book on Culture and Health in practice as well as writing a book on the relationship between humour and subjectivity from a theological perspective.