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Religions, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2011), Pages 469-743

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008
Religions 2011, 2(4), 469-484; doi:10.3390/rel2040469
Received: 1 June 2011 / Revised: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
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Abstract
Many studies on the fertility differential by religion have considered both Catholics and Protestants to be equally homogenous groups. Contrary to these studies, we contend that Protestant fertility must be studied in the context of heterogeneous groups. Specifically, conservative Protestantism, with its [...] Read more.
Many studies on the fertility differential by religion have considered both Catholics and Protestants to be equally homogenous groups. Contrary to these studies, we contend that Protestant fertility must be studied in the context of heterogeneous groups. Specifically, conservative Protestantism, with its beliefs about artificial birth control mirroring Catholic teaching, should be examined separately from other Protestant traditions. Using data from the General Social Survey we find that conservative Protestants and Catholics had about the same level of fertility, while mainline Protestants have a fertility rate that is significantly lower than that of Catholics. We also examine the changes in these differences over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Does Religious Involvement Generate or Inhibit Fear of Crime?
Religions 2011, 2(4), 485-503; doi:10.3390/rel2040485
Received: 15 June 2011 / Revised: 11 September 2011 / Accepted: 23 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
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Abstract
In victimology, fear of crime is understood as an emotional response to the perceived threat of crime. Fear of crime has been found to be affected by several variables besides local crime rates and personal experiences with victimization. This study examines the [...] Read more.
In victimology, fear of crime is understood as an emotional response to the perceived threat of crime. Fear of crime has been found to be affected by several variables besides local crime rates and personal experiences with victimization. This study examines the relationship between religion and fear of crime, an underexplored topic in the criminological literature. This gap is rather surprising given the central role religion has been found to play in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of congregants. In particular, religion has been found to foster generalized trust, which should engender lower levels of distrust or misanthropy, including that which is directed towards a general fear of crime. OLS regression was performed using data from the West Georgia Area Survey (n = 380). Controlling for demographic, community involvement, and political ideology variables, frequency of religious attendance was significantly and negatively associated with fear of property crime. This relationship remained even after a perceived neighborhood safety variable was introduced to the model. However, religious attendance was not significantly related to fear of violent crime, and religious orientation was unrelated to fear of property and violent crime. These results suggest that religious involvement conditionally reduces fear of crime, and the authors recommend that future research explore relationships between religion and fear of crime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Mosques as American Institutions: Mosque Attendance, Religiosity and Integration into the Political System among American Muslims
Religions 2011, 2(4), 504-524; doi:10.3390/rel2040504
Received: 26 June 2011 / Revised: 9 September 2011 / Accepted: 16 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
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Abstract
Religious institutions and places of worship have played a pivotal role in American Politics. What about the role of the mosque? Does the mosque, as an institution, in any sense play a different role than that of churches or synagogues in political [...] Read more.
Religious institutions and places of worship have played a pivotal role in American Politics. What about the role of the mosque? Does the mosque, as an institution, in any sense play a different role than that of churches or synagogues in political participation? Some scholars have argued that Islam as a religion and a culture is incompatible with liberal, democratic American values; not only is Islam inconsistent with the West, but it poses a direct conflict.  This viewpoint has likewise been popularized in American and European media and by some government officials who have labeled Muslims as enemies of freedom and democracy. Through the examination of the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey (MAPOS), which has a large sample size of American Muslim respondents (N = 1410), we argue that the mosque emerges as an important indicator for Muslim social and political integration into American society. We demonstrate that not only are those Muslims who attend the mosque regularly more likely to identify as American Muslims rather than by national origin, they are also more likely to believe mosques encourage Muslims to integrate into U.S. society. Our analysis further exemplifies that mosque attendance and involvement, beyond creating a common identity among American Muslims, leads to more political participation in the U.S. In contrast to prevailing wisdom, we also find that more religiously devout Muslims are significantly more likely to support political participation. Based on our findings, we conclude that there is nothing inconsistent with the mosque and American democracy, and in fact, religiosity fosters support for American democratic values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in America: Zeroing in on the Park51 Controversy)
Open AccessArticle “Religion in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy?” A Pilot Study: The Meaning of Religiosity/Spirituality from Staff’s Perspective in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Religions 2011, 2(4), 525-535; doi:10.3390/rel2040525
Received: 1 August 2011 / Revised: 7 September 2011 / Accepted: 23 September 2011 / Published: 28 September 2011
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Abstract
This study examined: (1) the spirituality of staff; (2) its relationship with staff’s attitudes towards religiosity/spirituality of patients; and (3) with staff’s integration of religious and spiritual contents in the patient’s therapy. Method: An anonymous survey distributed to the staff in the [...] Read more.
This study examined: (1) the spirituality of staff; (2) its relationship with staff’s attitudes towards religiosity/spirituality of patients; and (3) with staff’s integration of religious and spiritual contents in the patient’s therapy. Method: An anonymous survey distributed to the staff in the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Freiburg University Hospital. The main predictor variable was the spirituality of staff using DRI (Duke Religion Index). The main criterion variables were the relevance of religiosity/spirituality of patients and staff’s attitude towards religious/spiritual contents during their therapy using the questionnaire of Curlin et al. Results: The spirituality of staff was 6.91 on a scale of 12.0. There was no significant relationship between variables. Staff regarded the influence of religious/spiritual contents generally positive to patients. However, the staff did not use religious/spiritual elements in their therapy methods. Frequent reasons were insufficient time/occasion and insufficient knowledge. Conclusions: Religious/spiritual contents have not been integrated yet in therapy methods, although they are regarded as important for patients. Further studies and discussion about religious/spiritual matters are essential for their integration into psychiatric therapies in order to overcome these inconsistencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Islam and Roman Catholicism as Transnational Political Phenomena: Notes for a Comparative Research Agenda
Religions 2011, 2(4), 536-548; doi:10.3390/rel2040536
Received: 9 August 2011 / Revised: 19 September 2011 / Accepted: 29 September 2011 / Published: 30 September 2011
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Abstract
In this paper, we offer some preliminary insights into a comparison of Islam and Roman Catholicism as transnational or “transcivilizational” political phenomena. We note that both traditions are monotheistic, offer universalist theologies, and have played important political roles both historically and in [...] Read more.
In this paper, we offer some preliminary insights into a comparison of Islam and Roman Catholicism as transnational or “transcivilizational” political phenomena. We note that both traditions are monotheistic, offer universalist theologies, and have played important political roles both historically and in contemporary national and international politics. The comparison provides some additional insights into the role of ‘the sacred’ in politics at various levels, and presents the possibility of an intermediate level of analysis in comparative politics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Editors Issue)
Open AccessArticle Sacred Psychotherapy in the “Age of Authenticity”: Healing and Cultural Revivalism in Contemporary Finland
Religions 2011, 2(4), 566-589; doi:10.3390/rel2040566
Received: 26 July 2011 / Revised: 6 September 2011 / Accepted: 8 October 2011 / Published: 11 October 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Like other European countries, contemporary Finland has witnessed an explosion of healing modalities designatable as “New Age” (though not without profound controversy, [1]). This paper focuses on Finnish courses in lament (wept song, tuneful weeping with words) that combine healing conceived along [...] Read more.
Like other European countries, contemporary Finland has witnessed an explosion of healing modalities designatable as “New Age” (though not without profound controversy, [1]). This paper focuses on Finnish courses in lament (wept song, tuneful weeping with words) that combine healing conceived along psychotherapeutic lines and lessons from the lament tradition of rural Karelia, a region some Finns regard as their cultural heartland. A primary goal of the paper is to explicate a concept of “authenticity” emerging in lament courses, in which disclosing the depths of one’s feelings is supported not only by invoking “psy-“ discourses of self-help, but also by construing the genuine emotional self-disclosure that characterizes neolamentation as a sacred activity and a vital contribution to the welfare of the Finnish people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Sociology of Humanist, Spiritual, and Religious Practice in Prison: Supporting Responsivity and Desistance from Crime
Religions 2011, 2(4), 590-610; doi:10.3390/rel2040590
Received: 20 September 2011 / Accepted: 24 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
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Abstract
This paper presents evidence for why Corrections should take the humanist, spiritual, and religious self-identities of people in prison seriously, and do all it can to foster and support those self-identities, or ways of establishing meaning in life. Humanist, spiritual, and religious [...] Read more.
This paper presents evidence for why Corrections should take the humanist, spiritual, and religious self-identities of people in prison seriously, and do all it can to foster and support those self-identities, or ways of establishing meaning in life. Humanist, spiritual, and religious (H/S/R) pathways to meaning can be an essential part of the evidence-based responsivity principle of effective correctional programming, and the desistance process for men and women involved in crime. This paper describes the sociology of the H/S/R involvement of 349 women and 3,009 men during the first year of their incarceration in the Oregon prison system. Ninety-five percent of the women and 71% of the men voluntarily attended at least one H/S/R event during their first year of prison. H/S/R events were mostly led by diverse religious and spiritual traditions, such as Native American, Protestant, Islamic, Wiccan, Jewish, Jehovah Witness, Latter-day Saints/Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Buddhist, and Catholic, but, increasingly, events are secular or humanist in context, such as education, yoga, life-skills development, non-violent communication, and transcendental meditation groups. The men and women in prison had much higher rates of H/S/R involvement than the general population in Oregon. Mirroring gender-specific patterns of H/S/R involvement found in the community, women in prison were much more likely to attend H/S/R events than men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Religious Authority in African American Churches: A Study of Six Churches
Religions 2011, 2(4), 628-648; doi:10.3390/rel2040628
Received: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 November 2011 / Published: 22 November 2011
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Abstract
A sociological study of religious authority and gender in the context of a rural, impoverished community was conducted in African American churches in one county of the Arkansas Lower Mississippi Delta region to understand relationships between religious leadership, gender, race, and social [...] Read more.
A sociological study of religious authority and gender in the context of a rural, impoverished community was conducted in African American churches in one county of the Arkansas Lower Mississippi Delta region to understand relationships between religious leadership, gender, race, and social justice. Three female and three male African American pastors were interviewed as key-informants of their churches to investigate views of female religious authority, and to compare and contrast the congregational culture of female-headed vs. male-headed churches. Among male-headed congregations, views of gender and leadership were complex, with beliefs ranging from no support to full support for female-headed congregations. Two congregational cultures emerged from the data: Congregations with a Social Activist orientation focused on meeting the social needs of the community through Christ, whereas congregations with a Teach the Word orientation stressed the importance of meeting the spiritual needs of the community through knowing the Word of God. Although aspects of both congregational cultures were present to some extentin all six congregations studied, the Social Activist culture played a more dominant narrative in female-headed congregations, whereas the Teach the Word culture was more evident in male-headed congregations. This study reports preliminary information about gender and religious authority in rural African American churches by revealing the different clergy training requirements and church placements of female and male clergy, a myriad of views about female religious authority in the African American faith community, and through uncovering two distinct congregational cultures. This study also enhances understanding on the role of gender in Black churches’ perceptions and interactions with rural, socioeconomically challenged communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)
Open AccessArticle Transpersonal Psychology: Mapping Spiritual Experience
Religions 2011, 2(4), 649-658; doi:10.3390/rel2040649
Received: 1 October 2011 / Accepted: 16 November 2011 / Published: 22 November 2011
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Abstract
The first Journal of Transpersonal Psychology was published in 1969. Since this signal event, transpersonal psychology has emerged as a field of theory and application. A way has been made in Western psychology for the appreciation and study of interior subjective awareness, [...] Read more.
The first Journal of Transpersonal Psychology was published in 1969. Since this signal event, transpersonal psychology has emerged as a field of theory and application. A way has been made in Western psychology for the appreciation and study of interior subjective awareness, the domain of spiritual experience. One of the most recent contributions, the Wilber-Combs Lattice, offers a typology to account for both developmental processes throughout the human life span, as well as different qualities of spiritual experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Transforming Losses―A Major Task of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy
Religions 2011, 2(4), 659-675; doi:10.3390/rel2040659
Received: 1 September 2011 / Revised: 23 November 2011 / Accepted: 24 November 2011 / Published: 25 November 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia”, bereavement encompasses the dilemma between continuing versus relinquishing bonds to deceased persons. Mourning is the process of symbolizing the loss, of making sense by facing the conflict between the absence of the lost object and the continuing [...] Read more.
Since Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia”, bereavement encompasses the dilemma between continuing versus relinquishing bonds to deceased persons. Mourning is the process of symbolizing the loss, of making sense by facing the conflict between the absence of the lost object and the continuing presence of an emotional relationship to that which is lost. Furthermore, mourning is not limited to bereaved persons but also concerns dying persons and, in a broader sense, our whole symbolic life which is playful coping with a rhythm of absence and presence. True consolation connects the individual and the archetypical mourning. Spiritually integrated psychotherapy may accompany this process by amplification. Christian mysticism takes its starting point from the experience of Jesus Christ’s lost body, and this may be understood as a model of spiritual transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Hinduism in India and Congregational Forms: Influences of Modernization and Social Networks
Religions 2011, 2(4), 676-692; doi:10.3390/rel2040676
Received: 30 October 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 8 December 2011
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Abstract
In light of increased scholarly interest in the scientific study of non-Christian religions and societies, I review sociological research on Hinduism. Specifically, I focus on Hindu congregational forms, a phenomenon noted in social scientific literature. Drawing on existing theories from the sociology [...] Read more.
In light of increased scholarly interest in the scientific study of non-Christian religions and societies, I review sociological research on Hinduism. Specifically, I focus on Hindu congregational forms, a phenomenon noted in social scientific literature. Drawing on existing theories from the sociology of religion, this article illuminates possible social sources of Hindu congregational forms. Two preliminary sources are proposed and possible mechanisms elaborated: (1) modernization and (2) social networks. I conclude by proposing several new directions for research on Hindu congregational forms. These arguments and proposals offer directions for expanding understanding of how theories in the sociology of religion might operate beyond Christianity and the West. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Measuring Mindfulness: A Rasch Analysis of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory
Religions 2011, 2(4), 693-706; doi:10.3390/rel2040693
Received: 31 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 December 2011 / Published: 8 December 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of the study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI-14) using a Rasch model approach in a cross-sectional design. The scale was administered to N = 130 British patients with different psychosomatic conditions. The scale [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI-14) using a Rasch model approach in a cross-sectional design. The scale was administered to N = 130 British patients with different psychosomatic conditions. The scale failed to show clear one-factoriality and item 13 did not fit the Rasch model. A two-factorial solution without item 13, however, appeared to fit well. The scale seemed to work equally well in different subgroups such as patients with or without mindfulness practice. However, some limitations of the validity of both the one-factorial and the two-factorial version of the scale were observed. Sizeable floor and ceiling effects limit the diagnostical use of the instrument. In summary, the study demonstrates that the two-factorial version of the FMI-13 shows acceptable approximation to Rasch requirements, but is in need of further improvement. The one-factorial solution did not fit well, and cannot be recommended for further use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measures of Spirituality/Religiosity)
Open AccessArticle Inter-religious Cooperation for HIV Prevention in Uganda: A Study among Muslim and Christian Youth in Wakiso District
Religions 2011, 2(4), 707-728; doi:10.3390/rel2040707
Received: 30 November 2011 / Accepted: 16 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
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Abstract
Inter-religious cooperation has been recommended to address various issues for the common good. Muslims and Christians in Uganda are working together on HIV prevention in this spirit. A study was done to compare HIV prevalence and HIV-risk behaviors between Muslims and Christians. [...] Read more.
Inter-religious cooperation has been recommended to address various issues for the common good. Muslims and Christians in Uganda are working together on HIV prevention in this spirit. A study was done to compare HIV prevalence and HIV-risk behaviors between Muslims and Christians. A total of 2,933 Christian and 1,224 Muslim youth between 15–24 years were interviewed and tested for HIV. The HIV prevalence was significantly lower among Muslims (2%) compared to Christians (4%). Muslims were more likely to be circumcised, avoid drinking alcohol and avoid having first sex before 18 years. These behaviors which may have led to lower HIV infections among Muslims are derived from Islamic teachings. Muslim religious leaders need to continue to emphasize these teachings. Christian religious leaders may need to consider strengthening similar teachings from their faith tradition to reduce new HIV infections among their communities. Muslims and Christians working together as good neighbors, in the spirit of inter-religious cooperation, can generate evidence-based data that may assist them to improve their HIV prevention interventions. By sharing these data each community is likely to benefit from their cooperation by strengthening within each religious tradition those behaviors and practices that appear helpful in reducing new HIV infections. Full article
Open AccessArticle Women’s Voice and Religious Utterances in Ancient Greece
Religions 2011, 2(4), 729-743; doi:10.3390/rel2040729
Received: 16 September 2011 / Revised: 7 December 2011 / Accepted: 16 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
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Abstract
This paper tackles the issue of women and religion through a particular looking glass: religious utterances such as curses, supplication, and prayer, as reflected in some passages from ancient Greek epic and tragedy—pivotal literary genres in the ideological discourse of the Greek [...] Read more.
This paper tackles the issue of women and religion through a particular looking glass: religious utterances such as curses, supplication, and prayer, as reflected in some passages from ancient Greek epic and tragedy—pivotal literary genres in the ideological discourse of the Greek polis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Integration of Spirituality and Religion in the Care of Patients with Severe Mental Disorders
Religions 2011, 2(4), 549-565; doi:10.3390/rel2040549
Received: 12 July 2011 / Revised: 13 September 2011 / Accepted: 29 September 2011 / Published: 11 October 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spirituality and religiousness (S/R) are resources for finding meaning and hope in suffering and have been identified as key components in the process of psychological recovery. However, religion may also be associated with psycho-pathology, suffering and non-adherence with psychiatric treatment. Based on [...] Read more.
Spirituality and religiousness (S/R) are resources for finding meaning and hope in suffering and have been identified as key components in the process of psychological recovery. However, religion may also be associated with psycho-pathology, suffering and non-adherence with psychiatric treatment. Based on a literature review, this paper examines how S/R can be integrated in the treatment of patients with serious mental illness. We implemented a pilot “Spirituality and Recovery Group” designed to (1) help patients to resort to S/R as a means of recovery; (2) work on resolving conflicts between S/R and life issues and treatment; and (3) provide information on S/R in the context of psychosis. Preliminary results are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessReview Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Mental Health Care, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Religions 2011, 2(4), 611-627; doi:10.3390/rel2040611
Received: 9 August 2011 / Revised: 10 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Integrating spirituality into mental health care, psychiatry and psychotherapy is still controversial, albeit a growing body of evidence is showing beneficial effects and a real need for such integration. In this review, past and recent research as well as evidence from the [...] Read more.
Integrating spirituality into mental health care, psychiatry and psychotherapy is still controversial, albeit a growing body of evidence is showing beneficial effects and a real need for such integration. In this review, past and recent research as well as evidence from the integrative concept of a Swiss clinic is summarized. Religious coping is highly prevalent among patients with psychiatric disorders. Surveys indicate that 70–80% use religious or spiritual beliefs and activities to cope with daily difficulties and frustrations. Religion may help patients to enhance emotional adjustment and to maintain hope, purpose and meaning. Patients emphasize that serving a purpose beyond one’s self can make it possible to live with what might otherwise be unbearable. Programs successfully incorporating spirituality into clinical practice are described and discussed. Studies indicate that the outcome of psychotherapy in religious patients can be enhanced by integrating religious elements into the therapy protocol and that this can be successfully done by religious and non-religious therapists alike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available

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