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Religions, Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2010), Pages 1-121

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Welcome to Religions, a New Open Access, Multidisciplinary and Comprehensive Online Journal
Religions 2010, 1(1), 1-2; doi:10.3390/rel1010001
Received: 7 June 2010 / Accepted: 8 June 2010 / Published: 10 June 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (46 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We always seem to be in the wake of some current event or controversy that reminds us just how important scholarly interest in religions has been, is, and will be. Fortunately, new sources for religious movements—even sources that illumine those movements’ origins—keep [...] Read more.
We always seem to be in the wake of some current event or controversy that reminds us just how important scholarly interest in religions has been, is, and will be. Fortunately, new sources for religious movements—even sources that illumine those movements’ origins—keep turning up, and many sources, long considered critical, are now accessible online. Furthermore, fresh developments in the disciplines that consistently make significant contributions to our understanding of religious personality, authority, devotion, and community—disciplines ranging from psychology, sociology, and anthropology to history, art history, philosophy, literary criticism, and political science—fuel general, as well as scholarly, interest in the world’s religions. Without exaggeration, one can claim we have an embarrassment of riches. Consequently, the study of religious crises, commitments, and critics of the latter has never been livelier. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Spirituality as a Resource to Rely on in Chronic Illness: The SpREUK Questionnaire
Religions 2010, 1(1), 9-17; doi:10.3390/rel1010009
Received: 28 September 2010 / Revised: 13 October 2010 / Accepted: 22 October 2010 / Published: 29 October 2010
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The SpREUK questionnaire (SpREUK is an acronym of the German translation of "Spiritual and Religious Attitudes in Dealing with Illness") was developed to investigate how patients with chronic diseases living in secular societies view the impact of spirituality in their dealing with [...] Read more.
The SpREUK questionnaire (SpREUK is an acronym of the German translation of "Spiritual and Religious Attitudes in Dealing with Illness") was developed to investigate how patients with chronic diseases living in secular societies view the impact of spirituality in their dealing with illness (in terms of reactive coping). The aim was to operationalize and quantify patients’ search for a transcendent source of support; their reliance on such a source of help; and whether they regard their illness as a chance for reflection and subsequent change of life and behavior. The contextual 15-item SpREUK has very good internal consistency estimates (ranging from 0.86 to 0.91), and differentiates three factors, i.e., Search (for Support/Access), Trust (in Higher Guidance/Source), and Reflection (Positive Interpretation of Disease). It avoids exclusive religious terminology and appears to be a good choice for assessing patients’ interest in spiritual/religious concerns, which is not biased for or against a particular religious commitment. This reliable and valid instrument is suited for patients in secular and also in religious societies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)
Open AccessArticle Spiritual Needs of Patients with Chronic Diseases
Religions 2010, 1(1), 18-27; doi:10.3390/rel1010018
Received: 21 September 2010 / Revised: 25 October 2010 / Accepted: 8 November 2010 / Published: 12 November 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (135 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For many patients confronted with chronic diseases, spirituality/religiosity is an important resource for coping. Patients often report unmet spiritual and existential needs, and spiritual support is also associated with better quality of life. Caring for spiritual, existential and psychosocial needs is not [...] Read more.
For many patients confronted with chronic diseases, spirituality/religiosity is an important resource for coping. Patients often report unmet spiritual and existential needs, and spiritual support is also associated with better quality of life. Caring for spiritual, existential and psychosocial needs is not only relevant to patients at the end of their life but also to those suffering from long-term chronic illnesses. Spiritual needs may not always be associated with life satisfaction, but sometimes with anxiety, and can be interpreted as the patients’ longing for spiritual well-being. The needs for peace, health and social support are universal human needs and are of special importance to patients with long lasting courses of disease. The factor, Actively Giving, may be of particular importance because it can be interpreted as patients’ intention to leave the role of a `passive sufferer´ to become an active, self-actualizing, giving individual. One can identify four core dimensions of spiritual needs, i.e., Connection, Peace, Meaning/Purpose, and Transcendence, which can be attributed to underlying psychosocial, emotional, existential, and religious needs. The proposed model can provide a conceptual framework for further research and clinical practice. In fact, health care that addresses patients’ physical, emotional, social, existential and spiritual needs (referring to a bio-psychosocial-spiritual model of health care) will contribute to patients’ improvement and recovery. Nevertheless, there are several barriers in the health care system that makes it difficult to adequately address these needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
Open AccessArticle Medicine for the Spirit: Religious Coping in Individuals with Medical Conditions
Religions 2010, 1(1), 28-53; doi:10.3390/rel1010028
Received: 28 October 2010 / Revised: 11 November 2010 / Accepted: 11 November 2010 / Published: 12 November 2010
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (101 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Religious coping now represents a key variable of interest in research on health outcomes, not only because many individuals turn to their faith in times of illness, but also because studies have frequently found that religious coping is associated with desirable health [...] Read more.
Religious coping now represents a key variable of interest in research on health outcomes, not only because many individuals turn to their faith in times of illness, but also because studies have frequently found that religious coping is associated with desirable health outcomes. The purpose of this article is to familiarize readers with recent investigations of religious coping in samples with medical conditions. The present article will begin by describing a conceptual model of religious coping. The article will then provide data on the prevalence of religious coping in a range of samples. After presenting findings that illustrate the general relationship between religious coping and health outcomes, the article will review more specific pathways through which religious coping is thought to impact health. These pathways include shaping individuals’ active coping with health problems, influencing patients’ emotional responses to illness, fostering social support, and facilitating meaning making. This article will also address the darker side of religious coping, describing forms of coping that are linked to negative outcomes. Examples of religious coping interventions will also be reviewed. Finally, we will close with suggestions for future work in this important field of research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
Open AccessArticle Economic Functions of Monasticism in Cyprus: The Case of the Kykkos Monastery
Religions 2010, 1(1), 54-77; doi:10.3390/rel1010054
Received: 9 October 2010 / Revised: 18 November 2010 / Accepted: 25 November 2010 / Published: 1 December 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article presents a comprehensive overview of the various economic activities performed by the Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus in its long history (11th–20th centuries). The article begins with a brief review of the early centuries of Cypriot monasticism and the foundation of [...] Read more.
The article presents a comprehensive overview of the various economic activities performed by the Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus in its long history (11th–20th centuries). The article begins with a brief review of the early centuries of Cypriot monasticism and the foundation of the monastery in the 11th century. Then, the analysis focuses on the economic activities performed during the period of the Ottoman rule (1571–1878). Using primary sources from the monastery’s archives, this section offers an overview of the various types of monastic land holdings in the Ottoman era and the strategies used to purchase them. Using 19th century primary sources, it further presents a detailed account of the multifaceted involvement and illustrates the prominent role of the monastery in the island’s economic life (land ownership, stockbreeding activities, lending of money, etc.). Next, it examines the changes in monastic possessions caused by the legislation enacted by the post-1878 British colonial administration. The legislation caused the loss of extensive land holdings and was the subject of extensive controversy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Validity and Reliability of the Hebrew Version of the SpREUK Questionnaire for Religiosity, Spirituality and Health: An Application for Oral Diseases
Religions 2010, 1(1), 86-104; doi:10.3390/rel1010086
Received: 11 October 2010 / Revised: 22 November 2010 / Accepted: 3 December 2010 / Published: 8 December 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Research has examined the connection between religiosity, spirituality (SpR) and health, and the potential of these variables to prevent, heal and cope with disease. Research indicated that participation in religious meetings or services was associated with a lower risk of developing [...] Read more.
Background: Research has examined the connection between religiosity, spirituality (SpR) and health, and the potential of these variables to prevent, heal and cope with disease. Research indicated that participation in religious meetings or services was associated with a lower risk of developing oral disease. We intended to test a Hebrew version of the SpREUK 1.1 questionnaire, which is reported to be a reliable and valid measure of distinctive issues of SpR, and to test its relevance in the context of oral illness among a Jewish population. Methods: In order to validate the SpREUK-Hebrew instrument, minor translational and cultural/religious adaptations were applied. Reliability and factor analyses were performed, using standard procedures, among 134 Jewish Israeli subjects (mean age 38.4 years). Results: Analysis of reliability for internal consistency demonstrated an intra-class correlation of Cronbach's alpha = 0.90 for the intrinsic religiosity/spiritual and the appraisal scales, and of 0.90 for the support through spirituality/religiosity scales. Inter reliability agreement by kappa ranged between 0.7 and 0.9. We were able to approve the previously described factorial structure, albeit with some unique characteristics in the Jewish population. Individuals´ time spent on spiritual activity correlated with the SpREUK scales. The instrument discriminated well between religious subgroups (i.e., ultra Orthodox, conventional religious and less-religious). Preliminary results indicate an association between measures of spirituality and oral health. Conclusions: The traditional and cultural adaptation of the tool was found to be appropriate. SpREUK-Hebrew was reliable and valid among a Jewish population. This method could therefore be employed in comparative studies among different cultural and religious backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)
Open AccessArticle Development and Application of a Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire Called SHALOM
Religions 2010, 1(1), 105-121; doi:10.3390/rel1010105
Received: 11 November 2010 / Revised: 29 November 2010 / Accepted: 6 December 2010 / Published: 9 December 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Four Domains Model of Spiritual Health and Well-Being was used as the theoretical base for the development of several spiritual well-being questionnaires, with progressive fine-tuning leading to the Spiritual Health And Life-Orientation Measure (SHALOM). SHALOM comprises 20 items with five items [...] Read more.
The Four Domains Model of Spiritual Health and Well-Being was used as the theoretical base for the development of several spiritual well-being questionnaires, with progressive fine-tuning leading to the Spiritual Health And Life-Orientation Measure (SHALOM). SHALOM comprises 20 items with five items reflecting the quality of relationships of each person with themselves, other people, the environment and/or God, in the Personal, Communal, Environmental and Transcendental domains of spiritual well-being. SHALOM has undergone rigorous statistical testing in several languages. SHALOM has been used with school and university students, teachers, nurses, medical doctors, church-attenders, in industry and business settings, with abused women, troubled youth and alcoholics. SHALOM provides a unique way of assessing spiritual well-being as it compares each person’s ideals with their lived experiences, providing a measure of spiritual harmony or dissonance in each of the four domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire: Assessing Faith Engagement in a Brief and Nondenominational Manner
Religions 2010, 1(1), 3-8; doi:10.3390/rel1010003
Received: 21 September 2010 / Revised: 22 October 2010 / Accepted: 27 October 2010 / Published: 29 October 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (79 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire is a brief (10-item, or five-item short form version), reliable and valid self report measure assessing strength of religious faith and engagement suitable for use with multiple religious traditions, denominations, and perspectives. It has [...] Read more.
The Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire is a brief (10-item, or five-item short form version), reliable and valid self report measure assessing strength of religious faith and engagement suitable for use with multiple religious traditions, denominations, and perspectives. It has been used in medical, student, psychiatric, substance abuse, and among general populations nationally and internationally and among multiple cultures and languages. Brief non denominational self report measures of religious and faith engagement that have demonstrated reliability and validity are not common but can have potential for general utility in both clinical and research settings. This article provides an overview of the scale and current research findings regarding its use in both research and clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)
Open AccessReview The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL): A Five-Item Measure for Use in Epidemological Studies
Religions 2010, 1(1), 78-85; doi:10.3390/rel1010078
Received: 21 September 2010 / Revised: 16 November 2010 / Accepted: 24 November 2010 / Published: 1 December 2010
Cited by 83 | PDF Full-text (139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is need for a brief measure of religiosity that can be included in epidemiological surveys to examine relationships between religion and health outcomes. The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL) is a five-item measure of religious involvement, and was developed for use [...] Read more.
There is need for a brief measure of religiosity that can be included in epidemiological surveys to examine relationships between religion and health outcomes. The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL) is a five-item measure of religious involvement, and was developed for use in large cross-sectional and longitudinal observational studies. The instrument assesses the three major dimensions of religiosity that were identified during a consensus meeting sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. Those three dimensions are organizational religious activity, non-organizational religious activity, and intrinsic religiosity (or subjective religiosity). The DUREL measures each of these dimensions by a separate “subscale”, and correlations with health outcomes should be analyzed by subscale in separate models. The overall scale has high test-retest reliability (intra-class correlation = 0.91), high internal consistence (Cronbach’s alpha’s = 0.78–0.91), high convergent validity with other measures of religiosity (r’s = 0.71–0.86), and the factor structure of the DUREL has now been demonstrated and confirmed in separate samples by other independent investigative teams. The DUREL has been used in over 100 published studies conducted throughout the world and is available in 10 languages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)

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