I found this chapter most helpful to me in gaining a better understanding of research in general. His explanations of what empirical research is was a helpful refresher but also helped me understand more completely the nature of this kind of research.
Rick, I agree I wish he would have discussed more the concept of superempirical dimension of research. I think this is important as there are aspects of spirituality and faith experience that science just can not research. Swinton speaks to this somewhat in chapter three (location 1668 in kindal). This I think is the biggest challenge of spiritual research – bringing quality research that will be embraced by the scientific community, while also addressing and honoring that there are parts of spirituality that will never be able to be explained or researched due to the fact that there will always be an element of mystery in play.
I think Swinton makes a good case for how complex spiritual research in the area of mental health is.
I still need to read chapter 4, so I will reflect on that chapter later on.