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Religions, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-150

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Psychotherapy with African American Women with Depression: Is it okay to Talk about Their Religious/Spiritual Beliefs?
Religions 2012, 3(1), 19-36; doi:10.3390/rel3010019
Received: 17 December 2011 / Revised: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A growing body of research focusing on African Americans’ mental health is showing that this group relies heavily on their religious/spiritual beliefs and practices to cope with mental health issues including depression. Unfortunately, the psychotherapy literature provides little guidance on how to [...] Read more.
A growing body of research focusing on African Americans’ mental health is showing that this group relies heavily on their religious/spiritual beliefs and practices to cope with mental health issues including depression. Unfortunately, the psychotherapy literature provides little guidance on how to incorporate religion/spirituality into psychotherapy with African American women. With the growing cultural diversity of the U.S. population, there has been more emphasis on providing patient-centered culturally sensitive care, which involves providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs, and values. This paper provides a synthesis of literature that psychotherapists could use to become more culturally sensitive and patient-centered in their clinical practices; that is, to recognize and integrate religion/spirituality into their work with African American women experiencing depression, and possibly other groups with similar needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Inscribing Authority: Female Title Bearers in Jewish Inscriptions
Religions 2012, 3(1), 37-49; doi:10.3390/rel3010037
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 25 January 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 8 February 2012
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Abstract
This paper investigates representations of gender in the material culture of the ancient synagogue. The pertinent data are numerous dedicatory and funerary inscriptions linking individual Jews, men and women, with titles seemingly associated with leadership in Late Antique synagogues (ca. 200–600 CE). [...] Read more.
This paper investigates representations of gender in the material culture of the ancient synagogue. The pertinent data are numerous dedicatory and funerary inscriptions linking individual Jews, men and women, with titles seemingly associated with leadership in Late Antique synagogues (ca. 200–600 CE). Bernadette Brooten’s influential 1982 monograph argued against the prevailing tendency to characterize these titles as indications of power, authority, and responsibility when associated with men but as meaningless flattery when applied to women. She suggests that synagogue titles denote power, authority and responsibility on all title bearers equally, both men and women. I question the continued utility of proffering female title-holders as enumerable examples of powerful women rescued from their forgotten place in history. Using theoretical insights developed by historians Elizabeth Clark and Gabrielle Spiegel, this paper will engage a comparative analysis with the work of Riet van Bremen and Saba Mahmood to develop new methods of conceptualizing women’s authority in early Jewish communities. I propose that viewing women’s synagogue titles as culturally constructed representations allows for a fruitful inquiry into how women’s titles were used by male-dominated synagogue communities in their self-articulation and public presentation of Judaism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Religious Authority)
Open AccessArticle Mind-Body Practices in Integrative Medicine
Religions 2012, 3(1), 50-81; doi:10.3390/rel3010050
Received: 3 February 2012 / Revised: 11 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 23 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (499 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mind-Body practices have become increasingly popular as components of psychotherapeutic and behavior medicine interventions. They comprise an array of different methods and techniques that use some sort of mental-behavioral training and involve the modulation of states of consciousness in order to influence [...] Read more.
Mind-Body practices have become increasingly popular as components of psychotherapeutic and behavior medicine interventions. They comprise an array of different methods and techniques that use some sort of mental-behavioral training and involve the modulation of states of consciousness in order to influence bodily processes towards greater health, well-being and better functioning. Mind-body practices may thus be interpreted as the salutogenetic mirror image of psychosomatic medicine, where psychophysiological and health consequences of specific psychological states are studied, such as stress arousal, psychological trauma or depression. This contribution examines the empirical evidence of the most common mind-body techniques with regard to their salutogenetic potential. We concisely discuss some aspects of the mind-body problem, before we consider some historical aspects and achievements of psychosomatic medicine. We then turn to some prominent mind-body practices and their application, as well as the empirical database for them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle “Rather More than One-Third Had No Jewish Blood”: American Progressivism and German-Jewish Cosmopolitanism at the New School for Social Research, 1933–1939
Religions 2012, 3(1), 99-129; doi:10.3390/rel3010099
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
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Abstract
The New School for Social Research’s University in Exile accepted more German and European exiled intellectuals than any other American institution of higher education. This paper argues that transnational, cosmopolitan ideological and interest-based affinities shared by left-leaning American progressives and German-Jewish intellectuals [...] Read more.
The New School for Social Research’s University in Exile accepted more German and European exiled intellectuals than any other American institution of higher education. This paper argues that transnational, cosmopolitan ideological and interest-based affinities shared by left-leaning American progressives and German-Jewish intellectuals enabled the predominantly Jewish University in Exile to become a vibrant intellectual space accepted by the community of largely anti-Semitic American academics. These affinities also illuminate why, despite the fact that the émigrés’ exile was in large part the result of National Socialist hatred of Jews, Alvin Johnson (the founder of the University in Exile) and the faculty members that comprised it seldom discussed the University’s Jewish demographics. The Jewish faculty members ignored the relationship between their ethnicity and exile because to focus on it would have been to admit that the cosmopolitan project they had embraced in Central Europe had failed. Johnson ignored the faculty’s Jewish heritage for two reasons. First, he endorsed a cosmopolitan American nationalism. Second, he understood that the generally anti-Semitic community of American academics would have rejected the University in Exile if he stressed the faculty’s Jewishness. In ignoring the University in Exile’s Jewish demographics, Johnson and the University’s faculty successfully adhered to a strategy designed to foster the exiles’ entrance into the American intellectual community. Thus, while cosmopolitanism failed in Germany and Central Europe, the exiles’ later influence on the American academy indicates that it partially succeeded in the United States. Full article
Open AccessArticle Homecoming as a National Founding Myth: Jewish Identity and German Landscapes in Konrad Wolf’s I was Nineteen
Religions 2012, 3(1), 130-150; doi:10.3390/rel3010130
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 14 March 2012 / Published: 22 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Konrad Wolf was one of the most enigmatic intellectuals of East Germany. The son of the Jewish Communist playwright Friedrich Wolf and the brother of Markus Wolf—the head of the GDR’s Foreign Intelligence Agency—Konrad Wolf was exiled in Moscow during the Nazi [...] Read more.
Konrad Wolf was one of the most enigmatic intellectuals of East Germany. The son of the Jewish Communist playwright Friedrich Wolf and the brother of Markus Wolf—the head of the GDR’s Foreign Intelligence Agency—Konrad Wolf was exiled in Moscow during the Nazi era and returned to Germany as a Red Army soldier by the end of World War Two. This article examines Wolf’s 1968 autobiographical film I was Nineteen (Ich war Neunzehn), which narrates the final days of World War II—and the initial formation of postwar reality—from the point of view of an exiled German volunteer in the Soviet Army. In analyzing Wolf’s portrayals of the German landscape, I argue that he used the audio-visual clichés of Heimat-symbolism in order to undermine the sense of a homogenous and apolitical community commonly associated with this concept. Thrown out of their original contexts, his displaced Heimat images negotiate a sense of a heterogeneous community, which assumes multi-layered identities and highlights the shared ideology rather than the shared origins of the members of the national community. Reading Wolf from this perspective places him within a tradition of innovative Jewish intellectuals who turned Jewish sensibilities into a major part of modern German mainstream culture. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations
Religions 2012, 3(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/rel3010001
Received: 13 September 2011 / Revised: 8 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article systematically reviews the evidence for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and analyses the conditions around their rising popularity. MBSR, MBCT and Mindfulness Meditation were used as key words. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials using [...] Read more.
This article systematically reviews the evidence for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and analyses the conditions around their rising popularity. MBSR, MBCT and Mindfulness Meditation were used as key words. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials using the standard MBSR/MBCT program with a minimum of 33 participants. Twenty four studies were included. MBSR improved mental health in ten studies compared to waitlist control or treatment as usual. Moreover, MBSR was as efficacious as active control group in four studies, and showed a tendency over active control in one study. MBCT reduced the risk of depressive relapse in all five included studies. Evidence supports that MBSR improves mental health and MBCT prevents depressive relapse. It is interesting to observe that meditation based therapy programs are rapidly enjoying popularity. We discuss the cultural and theoretical implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available
Open AccessReview Spiritual and Religious Issues in Psychotherapy with Schizophrenia: Cultural Implications and Implementation
Religions 2012, 3(1), 82-98; doi:10.3390/rel3010082
Received: 18 February 2012 / Revised: 6 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 March 2012 / Published: 12 March 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The topics of spirituality and psychotherapy have often been controversial in the literature on schizophrenia treatment. However, current research indicates many potential benefits of integrating issues of religion and spirituality into psychotherapy for individuals with schizophrenia. In this paper, implications are presented [...] Read more.
The topics of spirituality and psychotherapy have often been controversial in the literature on schizophrenia treatment. However, current research indicates many potential benefits of integrating issues of religion and spirituality into psychotherapy for individuals with schizophrenia. In this paper, implications are presented for incorporating spiritual and religious issues in psychotherapy for individuals with schizophrenia. A background on the integration of spirituality into the practice of psychotherapy is discussed. The literature on spiritually-oriented psychotherapy for schizophrenia is provided. Clinical implications are offered with specific attention to issues of religious delusions and cultural considerations. Lastly, steps for implementing spiritually-oriented psychotherapy for individuals with schizophrenia are delineated to assist providers in carrying out spiritually sensitive care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available

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