Dr. Panagiotis Pentaris

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris HAEF, BSc, PGCE, CMedPsy, MSW, PhD

Senior Lecturer, Social Work

Key details

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris

Senior Lecturer, Social Work

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader of Social Work in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Greenwich.

Panagiotis is licensed in Social Work. He has conducted direct and clinical social work in the field of thanatology, notably with dying children and adults, and bereaved individuals. His professional practice varies, but is centred around death, dying and bereavement issues. Panagiotis has practiced internationally, including the US, the UK, Uganda and Greece. Positions held include hospice social worker, independent bereavement therapist, and social policy consultant regarding end of life strategies and palliative and hospice care guidance.

Panagiotis's teaching areas include social work theories, social theories, social work practice, loss and grief, change and transition, dying and professionalism, bereavement support, working with endings, religious literacy for social workers, religious literacy in end of life care, migration and social work, social work assessment, and critical and reflective practice.

Panagiotis is a Module Leader and Instructor for modules in the BA (Hons) Social Work and MA Social Work here at the University of Greenwich.

Previously Held Positions

  • 2015-2016, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work & Integrated Care, Buckinghamshire New University 
  • 2014-2016, Lecturer, Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • 2013-2014, Research Officer, Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • 2012-2013, Research Assistant, Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London

Responsibilities within the university

  • Programme Leader (Social Work);
  • Module Lead for Levels 4, 6 and 7 modules;
  • PhD supervision (thanatology; death studies; religion and belief; integrated care; social theories; altruism; hospice and palliative care; social work);
  • Providing tutorials to students across all levels;
  • Supervising BA and MA dissertations in Social Work;
  • Supervision of Social Work Placements;
  • Research activities;
  • Editor-in-chief for the Greenwich Social Work Review.


External Examiner appointments:

  • 2016-Present: Subject and Award External Examiner, Department of Social Work, Plymouth University
  • 2016-Present: Subject and Award External Examiner, Department of Social Work, Gloucester University 

Professional Body/Membership:

  • Fellow, Higher Academy Education
  • HCPC Registered Social Worker 
  • Dying Matters Coalition
  • International Observatory in End of Life Care (IOELC) – Lancaster University 
  • British Association of Social Workers [BASW]
  • BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group 
  • Religion & Public Institutions Research Network 
  • National End of Life Care Intelligence Network
  • End of Life Care Facilitators and Champions Network 
  • BSA Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group
  • International Federation of Social Workers [IFSW]
  • Hellenic Association of Social Workers [SKLE] 


  • Associate Editor for NOMOS Journal
  • Editorial Board for Youth Voice Journal, Issues in Social Science
  • Journal Peer-Reviewer: British Journal of Social Work, OMEGA, Death Studies, Culture & Society: Journal of Social Sciences, International Journal of Social Sciences, Issues in Social Science, Mortality, Youth Voice Journal, European Journal of Social Work, International Journal for Human Rights in Healthcare, Person-Centered and Psychotherapeutic Perspectives, Journal of Social Research and Policy
  • Editor-in-chief: Greenwich Social Work Review

Board Membership: 

  • IARS International Institute, Registered Charity: Trustee Member 
  • International Peace Centre Africa: Trustee Member and Country ConsultantFaithXchange Research Network: Co-founder and Co-Lead
  • Association for the Study of Death and Society, elected General Council Member

Research / Scholarly interests

Panagiotis's research interests are focused on the areas of death, dying and bereavement (thanatology/ death studies), and their intersection with religion and belief. 

Regarding death studies, he is interested in two distinct areas; first, the conceptualization of the experiences of death and dying in different contexts, and how socio-political and cultural traits inform private experiences, inclusive of the impact of the digital age. The second area is concerned with professional practice in end of life care, and death and health policies. In that, his interest expands on hospice social work and models of direct social work. 

One of his most recent studies explored religious literacy in end of life care, and was, in particular, concerned with the challenges and controversies that healthcare professionals face when working with service users who are religious or have strong feelings of faith, whatever that may be. Dr. Pentaris is currently completing a study about Social Workers and how religion, belief and spiritual identities are embedded characteristics in their professional practice. He is also currently completing a study that explores Hospice Social Workers' engagement with interprofessional and inter-agency working. 

Panagiotis has presented his research worldwide while giving invited talks and consultation about end of life care in Eastern European countries since 2013. He is currently supervising BA and MA research projects. Panagiotis is also the co-founder and co-lead of the FathXchange Research Network, an initiative that enables an interactive dialogue amongst disciplines and methodologies about the role of religion and belief in the public sphere. The network is international and has initiated a series of annual conferences in London since 2014.

Key funded projects

  • 2013-2016. European Return Fund and Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Education. Project title: Religious Literacy in End of Life Care.
  • 2015. Sean's House Hospice Support & Stantander Bank Co. Project title: Accessibility and acceptability of Children's Hospice Care. 
  • 2015. Sir Halley Stewart Trust, Enabling Innovation Fund. Project title: Interfaith dialogue about religion and belief.
  • 2014. Big Lottery Fund. Project title: The impact of Art Therapy Large Group in education and practice. 
  • 2014-2015. Goldsmiths, University of London. Project title: FaithXchange Research Network.
  • 2011. Atherton Family Foundation. Project title: The CHOW Project to prevent HIV/AIDS and other Blood-Borne diseases.

Recent publications


Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Christodoulou, Panayiota (2020), Knowledge and attitudes of hospice and palliative care professionals toward diversity and religious literacy in Cyprus: A cross-sectional study, Mary Ann Liebert. In: , , , . Mary Ann Liebert, Journal of Palliative Medicine ISSN: 1096-6218 (Print), 1557-7740 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2020.0011) Inpress NB Item availability restricted.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Jacobs, Lucy (2020), UK public’s views and perceptions about the legalisation of assisted dying and assisted suicide, SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Omega: Journal of Death and Dying ISSN: 0030-2228 (Print), 1541-3764 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222820947254) Inpress.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Mehmet, Nevin (2019), Attitudes and perceptions of paramedics about end-of-life care: a literature review, Mark Allen Healthcare. In: , , , . Mark Allen Healthcare, Journal of Paramedic Practice pp. 206-215 ISSN: 1759-1376 (Print), 2041-9457 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.12968/jpar.2019.11.5.206) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2019), A constructive analysis of the formation of LGBTQ families: Where Utopia and Reality meet, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET). In: , , , . World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences pp. 60-65 ISSN: 2070-3783 (Print), (doi: https://waset.org/publications/10009964/a-constructive-analysis-of-the-formation-of-lgbtq-families-where-utopia-and-reality-meet) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2018), The cultural context of dying: Hawai’ian death conceptions and the gender divide, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Batangas. In: , , , . Lyceum of the Philippines University, Batangas, Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research pp. 104-111 ISSN: 2350-7756 (Print), 2350-8442 (Online) (doi: http://www.apjmr.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/APJMR-2018-6.4.13.pdf) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Thomsen, Louise L. (2018), Cultural and religious diversity in Hospice and Palliative care: A qualitative cross-country comparative analysis of the challenges of healthcare professionals, SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Omega: Journal of Death and Dying pp. 648-669 ISSN: 0030-2228 (Print), 1541-3764 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222818795282) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2018), Negotiating belief in health and social care, Emerald. In: , , , . Emerald, International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare pp. 81-82 2056-4902 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-03-2018-0028) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Ališauskiene, Milda (2017), Religion and belief in Eastern Europe: Preface, Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas. In: , , , . Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, Culture and Society: Journal of Social Research pp. 10-12 ISSN: 2029-4573 (Print), 2335-8777 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.7220/2335-8777.8.2) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Yerosimou, Maria (2015), The role of background music in the experience of watching YouTube videos about death and dying, Foundation Pro Scientia Publica. In: , , , . Foundation Pro Scientia Publica, Journal of Education, Culture and Society pp. 305-319 ISSN: 2081-1640 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs20152.305.319) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2014), Memorial video tribute and the enfranchised grief of a gay widower, Suomalaisen Kuolemantutkimuksen Seura Ry. In: , , , . Suomalaisen Kuolemantutkimuksen Seura Ry, Thanatos pp. 1-14 ISSN: 2242-6280 (Print), (doi: https://thanatosjournal.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/pentaris_bridegroom1.pdf) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Yerosimou, Maria (2014), The functional role of music in communicating death through/in YouTube videos, Foundation Pro Scientia Publica. In: , , , . Foundation Pro Scientia Publica, Journal of Education Culture and Society pp. 206-217 ISSN: 2081-1640 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs20141-206-217) Published.


Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2018), Religious Literacy in Hospice Care: Challenges and Controversies, Routledge. In: , , , . Routledge, London and New York (1st) ISBN: 9781138477957 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/Religious-Literacy-in-Hospice-Care-Challenges-and-Controversies/Pentaris/p/book/9781138477957) Published.

Book section

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2020), Working with loss through the lens of culture and faith, Cognella. In: , , In: Beth Counselman-Carpenter, Alex Redcay (eds.), Working with grief and traumatic loss: theory, practice, personal self-care and reflection for clinician. Cognella, San Diego, CA, UK (1st) pp. 153-157 ISBN: 9781516542178 (doi: ) Published.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2019), Religion, belief and spirituality in healthcare, Wiley. In: , , In: Sarah Gehlert, Teri Browne (eds.), Handbook of Health Social Wor. Wiley, New Jersey, NJ (3rd) pp. 279-302 ISBN: 9781119420729 (doi: ) Published.

Conference item

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2019), The role of belief in dying, In: 41st Annual Conference Association for Death Education and Counselling, 9-13 April 2019, Altanta, GA , . , (doi: ) Published.

Edited book

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2018), Religion and Belief in the Public Sphere of Eastern Europe, University of Vilnius. In: , , , . University of Vilnius, ISSN: 2029-4573 (Print), 2335-8777 (Online) (doi: http://culturesociety.vdu.lt/2018/03/04/2018-vol-9-no-1-special-issue/) Published.