Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Religions, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2012), Pages 151-543

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-22
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Meaning in History—A Comparison Between the Works of Karl Löwith and Erich Auerbach
Religions 2012, 3(2), 151-162; doi:10.3390/rel3020151
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 28 February 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Karl Löwith (1897–1973) and Erich Auerbach (1892–1957) were assimilated German Jewish scholars who came to America during and after World War II. In the early 1940s both émigrés wrotetheir masterpieces From Hegel to Nietzsche and Mimesis in Japan and Turkey. In these [...] Read more.
Karl Löwith (1897–1973) and Erich Auerbach (1892–1957) were assimilated German Jewish scholars who came to America during and after World War II. In the early 1940s both émigrés wrotetheir masterpieces From Hegel to Nietzsche and Mimesis in Japan and Turkey. In these books, the philosopher as well as the philologist, provide a certain philosophy of history forced by the historical crisis of Europe. The differences in their viewpoints can clearly be seen in their decisive judgments on Goethe and the French Revolution. The comparison first looks at the question what impact the reality of being expelled from the German University of Marburg had on the development of their thoughts. The expanding war and the persecution of the European Jews is taken into account as well. The second focus is directed on the experience both made at the American East Coast and how this might have influenced their later writings namely Meaning in History and Philology of World-Literature. And at last the question is raised which significance the Jewish-Christian background had for Löwith and Auerbach especially for their attitude towards the religious sphere. Full article
Open AccessArticle Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche: Dzogchen and Tibetan Tradition. From Shang Shung to the West
Religions 2012, 3(2), 163-182; doi:10.3390/rel3020163
Received: 9 March 2012 / Revised: 14 March 2012 / Accepted: 16 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In July 2011 the International Dzogchen Community celebrated its 30th Anniversary. In 1981, near Arcidosso in Tuscany (Italy), Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche founded the first community or Gar of the International Dzogchen Community. He named it “Meri-gar”, the “Community [...] Read more.
In July 2011 the International Dzogchen Community celebrated its 30th Anniversary. In 1981, near Arcidosso in Tuscany (Italy), Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche founded the first community or Gar of the International Dzogchen Community. He named it “Meri-gar”, the “Community of the Mountain-of-Fire”. In the 70s Chögyal Namkhai Norbu began to teach Dzogchen to his first students. Interest soon became widespread and having received invitations from all continents, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche began to travel and teach throughout the world. These last thirty years the Dzogchen Community has grown and now has thousands of members in over 40 countries and all continents. The main objective of the Community is to preserve and develop understanding of Dzogchen, as well as preserving Tibet's extraordinary cultural patrimony. The International Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Studies was founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche with this aim and it was inaugurated by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in 1990. It has a rich collections of Tibetan books and manuscripts and publishes the teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. This article draws on Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s work and legacy to describe the Dzogchen Lineage and Tibetan Tradition from the very origin of the Shang Shung Culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle Spiritual Exemplars: An Introduction
Religions 2012, 3(2), 183-190; doi:10.3390/rel3020183
Received: 12 March 2012 / Revised: 27 March 2012 / Accepted: 31 March 2012 / Published: 10 April 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This essay introduces the special issue, provides criteria for evaluating spiritual exemplars, presents a case study to illustrate how spiritual exemplars can extend our knowledge of spiritual development, and makes important distinctions between types of exemplars and between positive and pathological spirituality. [...] Read more.
This essay introduces the special issue, provides criteria for evaluating spiritual exemplars, presents a case study to illustrate how spiritual exemplars can extend our knowledge of spiritual development, and makes important distinctions between types of exemplars and between positive and pathological spirituality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle Abraham Lincoln: God’s “Instrument”
Religions 2012, 3(2), 191-209; doi:10.3390/rel3020191
Received: 22 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
PDF Full-text (378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines one example of a spiritual hero, Abraham Lincoln, to reflect on issues about spiritual development, to connect spiritual development to character, and to indicate in what ways moral and religious development define and promote spiritual development. It uses Lincoln [...] Read more.
This paper examines one example of a spiritual hero, Abraham Lincoln, to reflect on issues about spiritual development, to connect spiritual development to character, and to indicate in what ways moral and religious development define and promote spiritual development. It uses Lincoln to show why spiritual maturity takes so long to develop and to show how spiritual development grows out of, rather than in parallel to, the many developments in our public and private lives. Finally, it shows the significance of being spiritual and why we should support spiritual development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle Res aut res publica: The Evidence from Italian Renaissance Manuscripts and Their Owners
Religions 2012, 3(2), 210-227; doi:10.3390/rel3020210
Received: 31 March 2012 / Revised: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines a key tension in Renaissance culture as reflected in the origin and provenance of manuscript books. Were Renaissance manuscripts the private property of individual owners or the common wealth of a lettered public? Even an officially public library could [...] Read more.
This paper examines a key tension in Renaissance culture as reflected in the origin and provenance of manuscript books. Were Renaissance manuscripts the private property of individual owners or the common wealth of a lettered public? Even an officially public library could not escape that tension, whether through abuse of borrowing privileges or plundering of vulnerable holdings. Market forces encouraged theft, while impoverished scholars used their knowledge to supplement meager incomes. Alternatively, a sense of common wealth is reflected in an ex-libris indicating that a codex belonged to an individual “and his friends.” Book collecting, finally, becomes a helpful clue in discerning to what a scholar is committed. Some Renaissance clergymen used culture as a way to promote their ecclesiastical careers, while others collected and shared manuscripts as a way to promote tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Karl Mannheim’s Jewish Question
Religions 2012, 3(2), 228-250; doi:10.3390/rel3020228
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 26 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
PDF Full-text (363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we explore Karl Mannheim’s puzzling failure (or refusal) to address himself in any way to questions arising out of the position of Jews in Germany, either before or after the advent of Nazi rule—and this, notwithstanding the fact, first, [...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore Karl Mannheim’s puzzling failure (or refusal) to address himself in any way to questions arising out of the position of Jews in Germany, either before or after the advent of Nazi rule—and this, notwithstanding the fact, first, that his own ethnic identification as a Jew was never in question and that he shared vivid experiences of anti-Semitism, and consequent exile from both Hungary and Germany, and, second, that his entire sociological method rested upon using one’s own most problematic social location—as woman, say, or youth, or intellectual—as the starting point for a reflexive investigation. It was precisely Mannheim’s convictions about the integral bond between thought grounded in reflexivity and a mission to engage in a transformative work of Bildung that made it effectively impossible for him to formulate his inquiries in terms of his way of being Jewish. It is through his explorations of the rise and fall of the intellectual as socio-cultural formation that Mannheim investigates his relations to his Jewish origins and confronts the disaster of 1933. The key to our puzzle is to be found in the theory of assimilation put forward in the dissertation of his student, Jacob Katz. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spiritual Identity: Personal Narratives for Faith and Spiritual Living
Religions 2012, 3(2), 251-265; doi:10.3390/rel3020251
Received: 21 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
PDF Full-text (758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article we outline a theoretical and methodological framework for spiritual identity as meaning in folk psychology. Identity is associated with psychological elements of personality that help people manage a time-bound existence. This discussion is extended on anthropological grounds, noting that [...] Read more.
In this article we outline a theoretical and methodological framework for spiritual identity as meaning in folk psychology. Identity is associated with psychological elements of personality that help people manage a time-bound existence. This discussion is extended on anthropological grounds, noting that spiritual goals are reinforced when they become symbolically self-important, often through religious ritual. This makes religious tradition and culture of monotheist exemplars centrally important to understanding idiosyncratic folk narratives like spiritual success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle John Muir and “Godful” Nature
Religions 2012, 3(2), 266-288; doi:10.3390/rel3020266
Received: 12 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
John Muir, America’s most influential conservationist, held a special view of Nature, one that treated Nature as “Godful” and “unredeemed” because, unlike humankind, Nature has not “fallen”. It is a view that asks us to adopt a gaiacentric, not anthropocentric, perspective on [...] Read more.
John Muir, America’s most influential conservationist, held a special view of Nature, one that treated Nature as “Godful” and “unredeemed” because, unlike humankind, Nature has not “fallen”. It is a view that asks us to adopt a gaiacentric, not anthropocentric, perspective on our place in the universe. This article explores the meaning and development of that view and how it came to define Muir’s faith and serve his noble purpose of preserving the Wilderness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle What is Jewish (If Anything) about Isaiah Berlin’s Philosophy?
Religions 2012, 3(2), 289-319; doi:10.3390/rel3020289
Received: 23 March 2012 / Revised: 28 March 2012 / Accepted: 31 March 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
PDF Full-text (731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper has two central aims: First, to reappraise Isaiah Berlin’s political thought in a historically contextualized way, and in particular: to pay attention to a central conceptual tensions which animates it between, on the one hand, his famous definition of liberalism [...] Read more.
This paper has two central aims: First, to reappraise Isaiah Berlin’s political thought in a historically contextualized way, and in particular: to pay attention to a central conceptual tensions which animates it between, on the one hand, his famous definition of liberalism as resting on a negative concept of liberty and, on the other, his defense of cultural nationalism in general and Zionism in particular. Second, to see what do we gain and what do we lose by dubbing his philosophy Jewish. The discussion will proceed as follows: after describing the conceptual tension (Section 1), I will examine Berlin’s discussion of nationalism and explain why comparisons between him and Hans Kohn as well as communitarian interpretations of him are incomplete and have limited merit. I will continue with a brief discussion of Berlin’s Jewishness and Zionism (Section 3) and explain why I define this position “Diaspora Zionism”. The two concluding sections will discuss Berlin’s place within a larger Cold War liberal discourse (Section 5) and why I find it problematic to see his political writings as part of a Jewish political tradition (Section 6). Full article
Open AccessArticle Erich Auerbach and His "Figura": An Apology for the Old Testament in an Age of Aryan Philology
Religions 2012, 3(2), 320-338; doi:10.3390/rel3020320
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 27 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
PDF Full-text (558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Auerbach’s goal in writing “Figura” and Mimesis was the rejection of Aryan philology and Nazi barbarism, based on racism, chauvinism and the mythologies of Blood, Volk and Soil, which eliminated the Old Testament from the Christian canon and hence from European culture and [...] Read more.
Auerbach’s goal in writing “Figura” and Mimesis was the rejection of Aryan philology and Nazi barbarism, based on racism, chauvinism and the mythologies of Blood, Volk and Soil, which eliminated the Old Testament from the Christian canon and hence from European culture and civilization. Following the Nazi Revolution of 1933 and the triumph of Aryan philology, Auerbach began writing “Figura,” published in 1938, where he provided an apology for the Old Testament’s validity and credibility, striving to prove that the Jewish Bible was inseparable from the New Testament contrary to the claims of Aryan philology and Nazi historiography. Auerbach’s “Figura” should be considered not merely as a philological study but also, and more importantly, as a crucial stage in his response to the crisis of German philology with Mimesis, in turn, seen as his affirmation, against Aryan philology’s Nazi racist and völkish views, of the humanist, Judeo-Christian foundation of European civilization. Full article
Open AccessArticle False Gods and the Two Intelligent Questions of Metapsychiatry
Religions 2012, 3(2), 339-343; doi:10.3390/rel3020339
Received: 24 February 2012 / Revised: 6 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 24 April 2012
PDF Full-text (124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explains how the spiritual teaching known as Metapsychiatry, developed by psychiatrist Thomas Hora, employs two questions as its focal educational method. Those questions facilitate phenomenological discernment of the source (i.e. the meaning) of our problems in living and help [...] Read more.
This paper explains how the spiritual teaching known as Metapsychiatry, developed by psychiatrist Thomas Hora, employs two questions as its focal educational method. Those questions facilitate phenomenological discernment of the source (i.e. the meaning) of our problems in living and help students and patients to understand the real nature of God. Perceiving our existentially invalid attachments and the inevitable suffering they produce encourages us to seek inspiration from God. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theology and Phenomenology)
Open AccessArticle Art, Trent, and Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment”
Religions 2012, 3(2), 344-356; doi:10.3390/rel3020344
Received: 6 April 2012 / Revised: 24 April 2012 / Accepted: 25 April 2012 / Published: 25 April 2012
PDF Full-text (264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel is one of the world’s most famous paintings, completed in 1542. Greatly admired, it was also criticized for the frontal nudity of some of the figures. Twenty-two years later, 1564, the nudity was painted over, [...] Read more.
Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel is one of the world’s most famous paintings, completed in 1542. Greatly admired, it was also criticized for the frontal nudity of some of the figures. Twenty-two years later, 1564, the nudity was painted over, an action attributed to the Council of Trent, 1545–1563. To what extent is that attribution correct? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle New Light on a Lost Cause: Atticus G. Haygood’s Universalizing Spirituality
Religions 2012, 3(2), 357-368; doi:10.3390/rel3020357
Received: 12 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 13 April 2012 / Published: 26 April 2012
PDF Full-text (267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The American tragedy of slavery and the Civil War provides the backdrop for the exemplary spirituality of Atticus Haygood (1839–1896). The son of a Georgia slaveholder, Haygood served as a chaplain in the Confederate army. At the War’s end, he returned to [...] Read more.
The American tragedy of slavery and the Civil War provides the backdrop for the exemplary spirituality of Atticus Haygood (1839–1896). The son of a Georgia slaveholder, Haygood served as a chaplain in the Confederate army. At the War’s end, he returned to Atlanta to suffer poverty and humiliation under the martial law of conquerors. His spirituality developed as a positive response to the chaos of Reconstruction. Following a mid-life transformation, he earned a national reputation as a progressive Southerner and crusader for the rights and education of former slaves. As a Southern Methodist clergyman, Haygood blended the ideals of evangelism and the social gospel, envisioning an America in which Northerners and Southerners, blacks and whites joined together to build the Kingdom of God. His spirituality evolved to the “universalizing” pinnacle of James Fowler’s stages of faith, a perspective from which all persons—regardless of race, status, and place of birth—participate as equals in fellowship with a just and loving deity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle Nelson Mandela and the Power of Ubuntu
Religions 2012, 3(2), 369-388; doi:10.3390/rel3020369
Received: 27 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 13 April 2012 / Published: 26 April 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for the freedom of his South African kin of all colors against the institution of apartheid. He spent twenty-seven years fighting from within prison, only gaining his freedom when his fellow South Africans could claim [...] Read more.
Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for the freedom of his South African kin of all colors against the institution of apartheid. He spent twenty-seven years fighting from within prison, only gaining his freedom when his fellow South Africans could claim it as well. This article demonstrates how his faith, his spiritual development and his noble purpose can be conceptualized through the lens of Ubuntu: the African ethic of community, unity, humanity and harmony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle Spiritual Pathology: The Case of Adolf Hitler
Religions 2012, 3(2), 389-406; doi:10.3390/rel3020389
Received: 27 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 13 April 2012 / Published: 26 April 2012
PDF Full-text (467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hitler had a noble purpose (to save the world) and a strong faith in the laws of Nature as he understood Nature. He was, then, a spiritual person, though his spirituality was pathological and destructive. Here, the example of Hitler, his faith, [...] Read more.
Hitler had a noble purpose (to save the world) and a strong faith in the laws of Nature as he understood Nature. He was, then, a spiritual person, though his spirituality was pathological and destructive. Here, the example of Hitler, his faith, and his spiritual pathology is given to both understand spiritual pathology in general and, through contrast, to understand positive spiritual development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
Open AccessArticle Towards a Global History of Voting: Sovereignty, the Diffusion of Ideas, and the Enchanted Individual
Religions 2012, 3(2), 407-423; doi:10.3390/rel3020407
Received: 25 April 2012 / Revised: 7 May 2012 / Accepted: 8 May 2012 / Published: 8 May 2012
PDF Full-text (339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article suggests a framework for moving toward a global history of voting and democracy that focuses less on the diffusion of European ideas (however important those ideas were) than on embedding the history of voting within a worldwide history of ideas [...] Read more.
This article suggests a framework for moving toward a global history of voting and democracy that focuses less on the diffusion of European ideas (however important those ideas were) than on embedding the history of voting within a worldwide history of ideas on sovereignty. The article posits a general framework for such a history focusing on a “conundrum of sovereignty” grounding legitimate rule in a space imagined as simultaneously within and outside worldly society. Rooted in a “secular theology” such ideas shaped in the 19th and 20th centuries the establishment of systems of mass voting (including the secret ballot), and the sovereignty of the “people” both in Europe and other parts of the world alike, in the process producing an image of the individual voter as an “enchanted individual.” The article looks at developments within Europe and in India in these terms.1 Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Haunted Encounters: Exile and Holocaust Literature in German and Austrian Post-war Culture
Religions 2012, 3(2), 424-440; doi:10.3390/rel3020424
Received: 2 May 2012 / Revised: 11 May 2012 / Accepted: 12 May 2012 / Published: 14 May 2012
PDF Full-text (320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In an essay titled ‘The Exiled Tongue’ (2002), Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész develops a genealogy of Holocaust and émigré writing, in which the German language plays an important, albeit contradictory, role. While the German language signified intellectual independence and freedom of [...] Read more.
In an essay titled ‘The Exiled Tongue’ (2002), Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész develops a genealogy of Holocaust and émigré writing, in which the German language plays an important, albeit contradictory, role. While the German language signified intellectual independence and freedom of self-definition (against one’s roots) for Kertész before the Holocaust, he notes (based on his engagement with fellow writer Jean Améry) that writing in German created severe difficulties in the post-war era. Using the examples of Hilde Spiel and Friedrich Torberg, this article explores this notion and asks how the loss of language experienced by Holocaust survivors impacted on these two Austrian-Jewish writers. The article argues that, while the works of Spiel and Torberg are haunted by the Shoah, the two writers do not write in the post-Auschwitz language that Kertész delineates in his essays, but are instead shaped by the exile experience of both writers. At the same time though, Kertész’ concept seems to be haunted by exile, as his reception of Jean Améry’s works, which form the basis of his linguistic genealogies, shows an inability to integrate the experience of exile. Full article
Open AccessArticle Europeanization of the World or Globalization of Europe?
Religions 2012, 3(2), 441-454; doi:10.3390/rel3020441
Received: 25 April 2012 / Revised: 8 May 2012 / Accepted: 12 May 2012 / Published: 14 May 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building on his long career as a distinguished historian of early modern Europe, John Miles Headley has recently turned his gaze to the influence of Europe in the larger world. In The Europeanization of the World, Headley makes an insistent case [...] Read more.
Building on his long career as a distinguished historian of early modern Europe, John Miles Headley has recently turned his gaze to the influence of Europe in the larger world. In The Europeanization of the World, Headley makes an insistent case for the uniqueness of European values—particularly human rights and democracy—and argues that these values are Europe’s most precious gifts to the larger world. Without seeking to diminish the remarkable intellectual and cultural achievements of European peoples, this presentation will suggest a more nuanced view of relations between Europe and the larger world. Human rights and democracy mean different things to different peoples in different contexts at different times, and there have in fact been numerous expressions of both in societies beyond Europe. Furthermore, European theorists of human rights and democracy drew influence from societies beyond Europe. To the extent that the Europeanization of the world is a persuasive idea, it is possible only because of a prior globalization of Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Reliance on God’s Help in Patients with Depressive and Addictive Disorders is not Associated with Their Depressive Symptoms
Religions 2012, 3(2), 455-466; doi:10.3390/rel3020455
Received: 28 March 2012 / Revised: 26 April 2012 / Accepted: 16 May 2012 / Published: 4 June 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: Although there are several reports which support a (negative) association between depression and spirituality/religiosity, the specific nature of the relationships remains unclear. To address whether patients with depressive and/or addictive disorders use this resource at all, we focused on a circumscribed [...] Read more.
Objective: Although there are several reports which support a (negative) association between depression and spirituality/religiosity, the specific nature of the relationships remains unclear. To address whether patients with depressive and/or addictive disorders use this resource at all, we focused on a circumscribed variable of intrinsic religiosity, and analyzed putative associations between intrinsic religiosity, depression, life satisfaction and internal adaptive coping strategies. Methods: We referred to data of 111 patients with either depressive and/or addictive disorders treated in three German clinics. For this anonym cross sectional study, standardized instruments were used, i.e., the 5-item scale Reliance on God’s Help (RGH), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), the 3-item scale Escape from Illness, the Brief Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale (BMLSS), and internal adaptive coping strategies as measured with the AKU questionnaire. Results: Patients with addictive disorders had significantly higher RGH than patients with depressive disorders (F = 3.6; p = 0.03). Correlation analyses revealed that RGH was not significantly associated with the BDI scores, instead depressive symptoms were significantly associated with life satisfaction and internal adaptive coping strategies (i.e., Reappraisal: Illness as Chance and Conscious Living). Patients with either low or high RGH did not significantly differ with respect to their BDI scores. None of the underlying dimensions of RGH were associated with depression scores, but with life satisfaction and (negatively) with Escape from illness. Nevertheless, patients with high RGH had significantly higher adaptive coping strategies. Regression analyses revealed that Reappraisal as a cognitive coping strategy to re-define the value of illness and to use it as a chance of development (i.e., change attitudes and behavior), was the best predictor of patients’ RGH (Beta = 0.36, p = 0.001), while neither depression as underlying disease (as compared to addictive disorders) nor patients’ life satisfaction had a significant influence on their RGH. Conclusions: Although RGH was significantly higher in patients with addictive disorders than in patients with depressive disorders, depressive symptoms are not significantly associated with patients’ intrinsic religiosity. Particularly those patients with high intrinsic religiosity seem to have stronger access to positive (internal) strategies to cope, and higher life satisfaction. Whether spirituality/religiosity is used by the patients as a reliable resource may depend on their individual experience during live, their expectations, and specific world-view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
Open AccessArticle Into the Grey: The Left, Progressivism, and Christian Rock in Uptown Chicago
Religions 2012, 3(2), 498-522; doi:10.3390/rel3020498
Received: 6 April 2012 / Revised: 10 May 2012 / Accepted: 24 May 2012 / Published: 8 June 2012
PDF Full-text (363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Founded in 1972, Jesus People USA (JPUSA) is an evangelical “intentional community” located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Living out of a common purse arrangement, this inner-city commune strives to counter much of what the Right stands for. An expression of the Evangelical [...] Read more.
Founded in 1972, Jesus People USA (JPUSA) is an evangelical “intentional community” located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Living out of a common purse arrangement, this inner-city commune strives to counter much of what the Right stands for. An expression of the Evangelical Left, the commune’s various expressions of social justice are popularized through the music produced by the community and their annual festival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progressive Evangelicalism)
Open AccessArticle Communicating African Spirituality through Ecology: Challenges and Prospects for the 21st Century
Religions 2012, 3(2), 523-543; doi:10.3390/rel3020523
Received: 27 March 2012 / Revised: 22 May 2012 / Accepted: 8 June 2012 / Published: 19 June 2012
PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review was set in the context of African spirituality and ecology. Specifically, the review addressed issues of African spirituality and the environment from a Kenyan context. Through analyses on existing literature, we examined African worldviews, determined how African spirituality was communicated [...] Read more.
This review was set in the context of African spirituality and ecology. Specifically, the review addressed issues of African spirituality and the environment from a Kenyan context. Through analyses on existing literature, we examined African worldviews, determined how African spirituality was communicated through the environment, evaluated African ways of regulating the use of the environment, and explored challenges facing African spirituality and ecology today. Results show that African spirituality has been enhanced through the environment where humanity worshipped and venerated everything under the earth, on earth, between the earth and heavens and in the heavens above. Consequently, various methods to restrict the utilization of certain natural resources are employed as a way of conserving the environment. Additional findings demonstrate that African spirituality and ecology are currently facing a number of challenges, hence a major challenge of sustainability of African spirituality in regard to environment. From a spiritual point of view, it is therefore recommended that environmental diversity should be conserved through sustainable development where every person from grassroots level is involved in protecting and maintaining God’s creation. We conclude that African knowledge and belief systems on environmental sustainability could be revitalized and used in environmental conservation. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Religious and Spiritual Biomarkers in Both Health and Disease
Religions 2012, 3(2), 467-497; doi:10.3390/rel3020467
Received: 6 February 2012 / Revised: 11 May 2012 / Accepted: 29 May 2012 / Published: 6 June 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Religious thought and spirituality can be considered as a part of natural human capacities. There is an exponential rise in clinical research in the relationship between religion, spirituality and positive health outcomes. Most of these studies, however, have been primarily descriptive, rather [...] Read more.
Religious thought and spirituality can be considered as a part of natural human capacities. There is an exponential rise in clinical research in the relationship between religion, spirituality and positive health outcomes. Most of these studies, however, have been primarily descriptive, rather than explanatory, focusing on identifying their underlying mechanisms. Almost no attempts have been made to find novel methods to mirror and monitor positive, and possibly negative, reactions related to the local and general effects of religion and spirituality in healthy subjects and patients. As this area of interest is rather new, we propose to put forward a new hypothesis that effects of religion and spirituality can be objectively studied by various exhaled biomarkers, some of which have already been developed and tested in health and disease. The lungs are particularly well suited for this purpose, as we have easy access to exhaled air and thereby a possibility to develop methods that measure compounds directly released from them. This work is the first step in the convergence of medical and theological research by linking various biomarkers and physiological measures with indicators of individual belief systems, religiosity and spirituality. Full article
Figures

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Religions Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
religions@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Religions
Back to Top