Dr Panagiotis Pentaris

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

Associate Professor of Social Work and Thanatology

Key details

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris

Associate Professor of Social Work and Thanatology

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris is an Associate Professor of Social Work and Thanatology in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Greenwich.

Dr Pentaris is licensed in Social Work. He has practised social work in the field of thanatology, notably with dying children and adults, and bereaved individuals; he has practiced both internationally and nationally. Positions held include hospice social worker, independent bereavement therapist, and social policy consultant regarding end of life strategies and palliative and hospice care guidance.

His 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.

Dr Pentaris is a Module Leader and Instructor for modules in the BA (Hons) Social Work and MA Social Work here at the University of Greenwich, while he supervises PhD students interested in areas pertaining to his research and teaching.

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

  • 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;
  • Safeguarding Lead for the School of Human Sciences;
  • Research activities;
  • UoA20 Social Work and Social Policy, REF2021, Panel Member;
  • Editor-in-chief for the Greenwich Social Work Review.


External Examiner appointments:

  • 2020-Present: External Examiner, School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex
    2020-Present: External Examiner, Department of Social & Policy Sciences, Bath University

Professional Body/Membership:

  • Senior Fellow, Higher Academy Education
  • HCPC Registered Social Worker
  • Dying Matters Coalition
  • Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW)
  • 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]


Board Membership:

Research / Scholarly interests

Dr Pentaris's research interests are largely in 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 the latter may mean to each. Dr. Pentaris is currently completing a study about assisted dying and assisted suicide, as well as a study about ageing and loss attitudes of health and social care students, in light of the changing age demographics of the population and the need to tackle further ageism in society.

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, MA and PhD research projects. Panagiotis is also the co-founder 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 & Santander 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 , Patlamazoglou, Lefteris, Schaub, Jason (2022), The role of faith in the experience of grief among sexually diverse individuals: a systematic review. Taylor & Francis - Routledge. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis - Routledge, Psychology and Sexuality ISSN: 1941-9899 (Print), 1941-9902 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2022.2057869).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Oresanya, Abiola (2021), Child protection vocabulary in the Children Act 1989: power, ambiguity and heerogeneity. University of Greenwich. In: , , , . University of Greenwich, Greenwich Social Work Review, 2 (2) . pp. 181-191 ISSN: 2633-4313 (Print), (doi: https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/gswr/article/view/1280/pdf).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Christodoulou, Panayiota (2021), Qualities of culturally and religiously sensitive practice: a cross-sectional study. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Journal of Palliative Care ISSN: 0825-8597 (Print), 2369-5293 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/08258597211050742) NB Item availability restricted.

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2020), Integrating religion and belief in social work practice: an exploratory study. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work ISSN: 1531-3204 (Print), 1531-3212 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/15313204.2020.1855493).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Tripathi, Khyati (2020), Religious/spiritual referrals in hospice and palliative care. MDPI. In: , , , . MDPI, Religions, 11: 496 (10) 2077-1444 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11100496).

Pentaris, Panagiotis , Willis, Paul, Ray, Mo, Deusdad, Blanca , Lonbay, Sarah , Niemi, Mia , Donnelly, Sarah (2020), Older people in the context of COVID-19: A European perspective. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 63 (8) . pp. 736-742 ISSN: 0163-4372 (Print), 1540-4048 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01634372.2020.1821143).

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, 24 (2) . pp. 233-239 ISSN: 1096-6218 (Print), 1557-7740 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2020.0011).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Jacobs, Lucy (2020), UK public’s views and perceptions about the legalisation of assisted dying and assisted suicide. SAGE. In: , , , . SAGE, Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 86 (1) . pp. 203-217 ISSN: 0030-2228 (Print), 1541-3764 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222820947254).

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, 11 (5) . pp. 206-215 ISSN: 1759-1376 (Print), 2041-9457 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.12968/jpar.2019.11.5.206).

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, 13 (1) . 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).

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, 6 (4) . 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).

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, 81 (4) . pp. 648-669 ISSN: 0030-2228 (Print), 1541-3764 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222818795282).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2018), Negotiating belief in health and social care. Emerald. In: , , , . Emerald, International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, 11 (2) . pp. 81-82 2056-4902 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-03-2018-0028).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2018), The marginalisation of religion in End of Life Care: signs of microaggression?. Emerald. In: , , , . Emerald, International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, 11 (2) . pp. 116-128 ISSN: 2056-4902 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-09-2017-0053).

Pentaris, Panagiotis , Papadatou, Danai, Jones, Alice, Hosing, Georgina (2018), Palliative care professionals’ perceptions of barriers and challenges to accessing children’s hospice and palliative care services in South East London: A preliminary study. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Death Studies, 42 (10) . pp. 649-657 ISSN: 0748-1187 (Print), 1091-7683 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2018.1430081).

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, 8 (2) . pp. 10-12 ISSN: 2029-4573 (Print), 2335-8777 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.7220/2335-8777.8.2).

Lazaridou, Asimina and , Pentaris, Panagiotis (2016), Mindfulness and spirituality: Therapeutic perspectives. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. In: , , , . Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, 15 (3) . pp. 235-244 ISSN: 1477-9757 (Print), 1752-9182 (Online) (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14779757.2016.1180634).

Skaife, Sally , Jones, Kevin, Pentaris, Panagiotis (2016), The impact of the Art Therapy Large Group, an educational tool in the training of art therapists, on post-qualification professional practice. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, International Journal of Art Therapy, 21 (1) . pp. 23-34 ISSN: 1745-4832 (Print), 1745-4840 (Online) (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17454832.2015.1125382).

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, 2015 (2) . pp. 305-319 ISSN: 2081-1640 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs20152.305.319).

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, 3 (2) . pp. 1-14 ISSN: 2242-6280 (Print), (doi: https://thanatosjournal.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/pentaris_bridegroom1.pdf).

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, 5 (2) . pp. 206-217 ISSN: 2081-1640 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs20141-206-217).


Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2021), Dying in a transhumanist and posthuman society. Routledge. In: , , , . Routledge, London (1st) . ISBN: 9780367542177 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/Dying-in-a-Transhumanist-and-Posthuman-Society/Pentaris/p/book/9780367542177).

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).

Book section

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , Woodthorpe, Kate (2021), Familiarity with death. Routledge. In: , , In: Panagiotis Pentaris (ed.), Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of COVID-19. Routledge, London (1st) . pp. 15-28 . ISBN: 9780367647322 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/Death-Grief-and-Loss-in-the-Context-of-COVID-19/Pentaris/p/book/9780367647322).

Shahul-Hameed, Manju , Foster, John, Finnerty, Gina, Pentaris, Panagiotis (2021), Impact of Covid-19 on mental health and associated losses. Routledge - CRC Press Taylor & Francis. In: , , In: Panagiotis Pentaris (ed.), Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of COVID-19. Routledge - CRC Press Taylor & Francis, London, Brighton, and Abingdon (1st) . pp. 160-177 . ISBN: 9780367647322 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/Death-Grief-and-Loss-in-the-Context-of-COVID-19/Pentaris/p/book/9780367647322).

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 clinicians. Cognella, San Diego, CA, UK (1st) . pp. 153-157 . ISBN: 9781516542178 (doi: ).

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

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: ).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2016), Religion & belief in hospice social work: Religious dying & secular social work practice in hospice care. In: Death, Dying and Social Work, 6th September 2016, University of Sussex , . , (doi: ).

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2016), Constructing end of life care: Is religion a problem or a solution?. In: British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group Annual Conference 2016, 12-14 July 2016, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK , . , (doi: ).

Edited book

Pentaris, Panagiotis and , (2021), Death, grief and loss in the context of COVID-19. Routledge. In: , , , . Routledge, London, Brighton, and Abingdon (1st) . ISBN: 9780367647322 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/Death-Grief-and-Loss-in-the-Context-of-COVID-19/Pentaris/p/book/9780367647322).

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


Pentaris, Panagiotis , Raja, Mariam, Hanna, Susan, Oresanya, Abiola (2021), Social work education and training in England in 2020-21: attitudes, perceptions and experiences about the specialist regulator, COVID-19 experiences and responses, and equality, diversity and inclusion. Social Work England. In: , , , . Social Work England, London (1st) (doi: https://www.socialworkengland.org.uk/media/4098/social-work-education-and-training-in-england-in-2020-21-report_accessible.pdf).