Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Religions, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 522-947

  • 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 1-24
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Islam, Immigration, and Identity: An Introduction
Religions 2014, 5(3), 700-702; doi:10.3390/rel5030700
Received: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
PDF Full-text (23 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has been two decades since Samuel P. Huntington, a Harvard political scientist, first published his famous essay, “The Clash of Civilizations?” [1]. In the essay, and later in his book with the same title (minus the question mark) [2], Huntington argues [...] Read more.
It has been two decades since Samuel P. Huntington, a Harvard political scientist, first published his famous essay, “The Clash of Civilizations?” [1]. In the essay, and later in his book with the same title (minus the question mark) [2], Huntington argues that conflict in the post-Cold War era will be driven largely by irreconcilable cultural and religious differences, particularly in regards to Islam and the West. The conflict between these two civilizations, while not new, is bound to persist in large part because Islam is prone to violence. Much of the global conflict that exists in the modern world, observes Huntington, involves Muslims. It is for this reason that he states so bluntly: “Islam has bloody borders” ([1], p. 35). [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam, Immigration, and Identity) Print Edition available
Open AccessEditorial Religions and Psychotherapies—Special Issue
Religions 2014, 5(3), 871-875; doi:10.3390/rel5030871
Received: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (86 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The birth of modern psychotherapies—along with the birth of psychology as a science on one side and with psychoanalysis, other depth-psychological treatments and behavioral therapies in addition to medical treatments of psychological disorders on the other side—in the 19th and 20th centuries [...] Read more.
The birth of modern psychotherapies—along with the birth of psychology as a science on one side and with psychoanalysis, other depth-psychological treatments and behavioral therapies in addition to medical treatments of psychological disorders on the other side—in the 19th and 20th centuries was accompanied by positivistic and mechanistic paradigms underlying empirical research and claims of scientific dignity [1]. Affirmations which could not be tested or observed empirically had to be excluded from science—including any kind of metaphysics and religious belief, notwithstanding pioneering studies by William James [2], Granville Stanley Hall, James Henry Leuba and Edwin Diller Starbuck [3] for psychology in general and for psychology of religion(s) in particular. In particular, the critique of religions by Sigmund Freud has continuously exerted a strong impact in the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapies; in addition, regarding psychodynamics and symptoms of psychic disorders, religious phenomena in the lives of patients may be just as affected as other cognitive and emotional aspects and behaviors [4]. Consequently, religious experience and religious behavior of patients in psychiatry and psychotherapies have rarely been object of research and teaching apart from predominantly symptomatic and pathogenic perspectives [5]. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies) Print Edition available

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Caveat Emptor: The Dalai Lama’s Proviso and the Burden of (Scientific) Proof
Religions 2014, 5(3), 522-559; doi:10.3390/rel5030522
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 16 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A more complete understanding of the Dalai Lama’s intellectual milieu and mental framework serves to contextualize and appraise his contributions to the discourse on Buddhism and Science in general, and the so-called Mind and Life Dialogues in particular. In addition to providing [...] Read more.
A more complete understanding of the Dalai Lama’s intellectual milieu and mental framework serves to contextualize and appraise his contributions to the discourse on Buddhism and Science in general, and the so-called Mind and Life Dialogues in particular. In addition to providing indispensable background information, a fuller expression of his foundational views and motives sheds light upon the idiosyncratic way the Dalai Lama engages new fields of knowledge. Thanks to the Dialogues’ format and the transparency of the Dalai Lama’s scholastic mentality, the way in which Mind and Life participants meet various challenges in practice offers enough traction to retrieve and critically appraise real-time patterns of engagement and innovation. This should prove to be instrumental in determining the Dialogues’ measure of success, at least by its own standards and stated purpose. Following this approach, the Dalai Lama’s long-time use of a proviso derived from Tsongkhapa’s reading of Middle Way philosophy as a methodological distinction that delineates the scope of Science warrants specific attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Religion: Buddhist and Hindu Perspectives)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Between Buddhism and Science, Between Mind and Body
Religions 2014, 5(3), 560-579; doi:10.3390/rel5030560
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buddhism has been seen, at least since the Theravāda reform movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as particularly compatible with Western science. The recent explosion of Mindfulness therapies have strengthened this perception. However, the 'Buddhism' which is being brought [...] Read more.
Buddhism has been seen, at least since the Theravāda reform movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as particularly compatible with Western science. The recent explosion of Mindfulness therapies have strengthened this perception. However, the 'Buddhism' which is being brought into relation with science in the context of the Mindfulness movement has already undergone extensive rewriting under modernist influences, and many of the more critical aspects of Buddhist thought and practice are dismissed or ignored. The Mind and Life Institute encounters, under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, present a different kind of dialogue, in which a Tibetan Buddhism which is only beginning to undergo modernist rewriting confronts Western scientists and scholars on more equal terms. However, is the highly sophisticated but radically other world of Tantric thought really compatible with contemporary science? In this article I look at problem areas within the dialogue, and suggest that genuine progress is most likely to come if we recognise the differences between Buddhist thought and contemporary science, and take them as an opportunity to rethink scientific assumptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Religion: Buddhist and Hindu Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Work-Family Conflict: The Effects of Religious Context on Married Women’s Participation in the Labor Force
Religions 2014, 5(3), 580-593; doi:10.3390/rel5030580
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 28 July 2014
PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Past work shows religion’s effect on women’s career decisions, particularly when these decisions involve work-family conflict. This study argues that the religious context of a geographic area also influences women’s solutions to work-family conflict through more or less pervasive normative expectations within [...] Read more.
Past work shows religion’s effect on women’s career decisions, particularly when these decisions involve work-family conflict. This study argues that the religious context of a geographic area also influences women’s solutions to work-family conflict through more or less pervasive normative expectations within the community regarding women’s roles and responsibilities to the family. We use the American Community Survey linked with community-level religious proportions to test the relationship between religious contexts and women’s participation in the labor force in the contiguous United States–2054 census geographic areas. Using spatial analysis, we find that community religious concentration is related to the proportion of women who choose not to work. Communities with a higher proportion of the population belonging to conservative religious traditions also have a greater proportion of married women choosing not to work outside the home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Learning to Be Muslim—Transnationally
Religions 2014, 5(3), 594-622; doi:10.3390/rel5030594
Received: 6 January 2014 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 28 July 2014
PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This essay discusses the religious upbringing experiences and reflections upon them articulated by 53 Muslim American youth who were interviewed as part of a larger sociological study of Arab American teenagers living transnationally. On extended sojourns in their parents’ homelands, these youth—most [...] Read more.
This essay discusses the religious upbringing experiences and reflections upon them articulated by 53 Muslim American youth who were interviewed as part of a larger sociological study of Arab American teenagers living transnationally. On extended sojourns in their parents’ homelands, these youth—most were born in the US although some migrated to the US at a young age—were taken “back home” to Palestine and Jordan by their parents so they could learn “their language, culture, and religion”. They were asked about learning to be Muslim in the US and overseas in the context of a much larger set of questions about their transnational life experiences. The data provide insights into the various types of early religious learning experiences Muslims have access to in a US Christian-majority context. The essay then examines how these youth later experienced and interpreted being Muslim in a place where Muslims are a majority. The study found that while a majority of youth said they learned more about their faith, almost half (42%) said that it was the same as in the US, that they did not learn more, or that the experience contributed both positively and negatively to their religious understanding. Key to these differences was the character of their experiences with being Muslim in the US. A majority of girls and of youth who attended full-time Islamic schools and/or were part of a vibrant Muslim community in the US gave one of the latter responses. On the other hand, most of the boys who grew up isolated from other Muslims in the US reported learning more about Islam. They were especially pleased with the convenience of praying in mosques and with being able to pray in public without stares. The data show that living where one is part of the dominant religious culture does not necessarily make for a deeper experience of religion. What seems to matter more is the type of experience with being Muslim each youth brings into the situation, as it was these that informed their subjective interpretations of what it means to be Muslim. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam, Immigration, and Identity) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Evangelicals’ Sanctification of Marriage through the Metaphor of Jesus as a Husband
Religions 2014, 5(3), 623-647; doi:10.3390/rel5030623
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
PDF Full-text (167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Researchers have examined how perceiving marriage as “sacred” or believing God is manifest in marriage is associated with marital functioning and satisfaction, but little is known about how biblical family metaphors (e.g., God is father) inform Christians’ interpretations of family relationships. Few [...] Read more.
Researchers have examined how perceiving marriage as “sacred” or believing God is manifest in marriage is associated with marital functioning and satisfaction, but little is known about how biblical family metaphors (e.g., God is father) inform Christians’ interpretations of family relationships. Few studies explore the perspective of individuals who believe in, interpret and apply these metaphors to their relationships. This study uses Hermeneutic Theory to examine how Evangelicals apply the metaphor of Jesus as husband and the church as bride to their intimate relationships and spirituality. Qualitative interviews with 15 Evangelicals explored the meaning, interpretations, and processes of marital relationships in light of the Christ-groom God image. Participants indicated many ways the metaphor was useful: value partners more; invest more in the relationship; strive to demonstrate love, patience, etc. toward partners; and guidance in relationship structuring. They discussed how their couple relationships opened positive and negative possibilities for relating to God. Gender hierarchy and implication that husbands are the “head” or “Christ” figure in marriage caused incongruence for some participants as did the difficulty of comparing a person or human relationship to a spiritual metaphor. Application, implications, and ideas for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Religion and American Politics from a Global Perspective
Religions 2014, 5(3), 648-662; doi:10.3390/rel5030648
Received: 23 May 2014 / Revised: 12 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
PDF Full-text (195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Past findings and theory in the sociology of religion support two opposing perspectives concerning the influence of religion on American politics. Looking from within the United States, the commanding influence of religion on political rhetoric and voting patterns seems apparent. From a [...] Read more.
Past findings and theory in the sociology of religion support two opposing perspectives concerning the influence of religion on American politics. Looking from within the United States, the commanding influence of religion on political rhetoric and voting patterns seems apparent. From a global perspective, the role that religion plays in American politics is less clear; in fact, one could argue that our political institutions are decidedly secular. I present support for both of these perspectives before turning to an international analysis of images of God using the Gallup World Poll. These data indicate the uniqueness of American religiosity and suggest that the ways in which religion affect politics in the United States is unusual for a post-industrial country. Namely, many Americans understand God as a political actor; because of this, American political culture mixes religious and political language with fervor, all while keeping church and state institutions separate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Possible Selves, Body Schemas, and Sādhana: Using Cognitive Science and Neuroscience in the Study of Medieval Vaiṣṇava Sahajiyā Hindu Tantric Texts
Religions 2014, 5(3), 684-699; doi:10.3390/rel5030684
Received: 27 June 2014 / Revised: 19 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 5 August 2014
PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, historians of religions have turned to, and developed, entirely new methodologies for the study of religion and human consciousness. Foremost among these are a collection of approaches often termed the “cognitive science of religion” (CSR), typically drawing on cognitive [...] Read more.
In recent decades, historians of religions have turned to, and developed, entirely new methodologies for the study of religion and human consciousness. Foremost among these are a collection of approaches often termed the “cognitive science of religion” (CSR), typically drawing on cognitive science, neuroscience, linguistics, and contemporary metaphor theory. Although we are still “early” in this enterprise, I hope to show how a meaningful dialogue between religious studies and contemporary neuroscience and cognitive science can help us to better understand some intriguing mystical texts and practices from a tradition of medieval South Asian Hinduism. Known collectively as the Vaiṣṇava Sahajiyās, these followers of transgressive and antinomian Tantric Yoga provide excellent examples for exploring the nature of religion, ritual, consciousness, embodiment, identity, gender, emotions and sexuality. This paper will show how the study of these rich materials from 17th through 18th century Bengal in northeastern South Asia can be enhanced using insights from the philosopher, Shaun Gallagher, and the neurologist, Patrick McNamara. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Religion: Buddhist and Hindu Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle The Optimal Level of Strictness and Congregational Growth
Religions 2014, 5(3), 703-719; doi:10.3390/rel5030703
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Beginning with Kelley’s and Iannaccone’s foundational studies, scholars have examined how strictness impacts congregational outcomes. This paper seeks to further develop the strict church thesis by examining Iannaccone’s concept of “optimal level of strictness”, an idea that there are limits to strictness. [...] Read more.
Beginning with Kelley’s and Iannaccone’s foundational studies, scholars have examined how strictness impacts congregational outcomes. This paper seeks to further develop the strict church thesis by examining Iannaccone’s concept of “optimal level of strictness”, an idea that there are limits to strictness. Using Stark and Finke’s theoretical framework of religious niches and data from the 2005 Baylor Religion Survey and the 2000 Faith Communities Today survey, I find that only prohibitions that are in line with a congregation’s religious niche have an impact on growth. To be beneficial, prohibitions must match the pool of potential members’ preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Empirical Ties between Religious Motivation and Altruism in Foster Parents: Implications for Faith-Based Initiatives in Foster Care and Adoption
Religions 2014, 5(3), 720-737; doi:10.3390/rel5030720
Received: 9 June 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
PDF Full-text (173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amidst a crisis shortage of foster homes in the child welfare system, a number of innovative faith-based collaborations aimed at recruiting foster parents have recently emerged. It has been suggested that these collaborations offer a unique opportunity to recruit committed and altruistic [...] Read more.
Amidst a crisis shortage of foster homes in the child welfare system, a number of innovative faith-based collaborations aimed at recruiting foster parents have recently emerged. It has been suggested that these collaborations offer a unique opportunity to recruit committed and altruistic parents as caregivers, providing much needed capacity to an overloaded child welfare system. This paper uses data from the National Survey of Current and Former Foster Parents to examine the associations between religious motivations for fostering, altruism and various measures of foster home utilization and longevity. The empirical results demonstrate that religiously motivated foster parents are more likely to have altruistic reasons for fostering, and scored higher than the non-religiously motivated group on an index of altruism. A separate empirical analysis shows that the interaction of high levels of altruism and religious motivation is associated with higher foster home utilization. No association was found between religious altruism and the parent’s expressed intent to continue providing foster care. The implications of these findings for current faith-based collaboration in the child welfare arena are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Body Divine: Tantric Śaivite Ritual Practices in the Svacchandatantra and Its Commentary
Religions 2014, 5(3), 738-750; doi:10.3390/rel5030738
Received: 18 March 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work examines ritual, cosmology, and divinization as articulated in select passages of the Svacchandatantra and its commentary by the late tenth century non-dual theologian, Kṣemarāja. Both the Svacchandatantra and its commentary prescribe the worship of the deity Svacchandabhairava, a form of [...] Read more.
This work examines ritual, cosmology, and divinization as articulated in select passages of the Svacchandatantra and its commentary by the late tenth century non-dual theologian, Kṣemarāja. Both the Svacchandatantra and its commentary prescribe the worship of the deity Svacchandabhairava, a form of Śiva, and his consort Aghoreśvarī. Drawing on Gavin Flood’s notion of entextualization, I examine how the rituals described seek to inscribe the corporeal body so that the practitioner is made part of the larger Tantric body and tradition. This present study serves to illustrate the formulation of a Tantric body in the rituals prescribed in the Svacchandatantra and commentary and to extend the theory of entextualization to include the ritual environment. I argue that a Tantric Śaivite religious identity is formulated through rituals which seek to create linkages between the cosmos, the body, and by extension, the ritual environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body and Religion)
Open AccessArticle The Liturgical Use of the Organ in the Sixteenth Century: the Judgments of Cajetan and the Dominican Order
Religions 2014, 5(3), 751-766; doi:10.3390/rel5030751
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores the liturgical use of the organ in the sixteenth century according to the judgments of Tommaso de Vio, Cajetan (1469–1534) and the Dominicans. In particular, it asks the question: In worship, is solo organ music capable of conveying a [...] Read more.
This paper explores the liturgical use of the organ in the sixteenth century according to the judgments of Tommaso de Vio, Cajetan (1469–1534) and the Dominicans. In particular, it asks the question: In worship, is solo organ music capable of conveying a specific meaning or a particular text (as seemed to be expected in alternatim practice)? The Dominican sources show an increasingly skeptical attitude, with a consequent tendency to limit the organ’s role in worship. The implication of this study is that organ alternatim did not fall out of favor (with the Dominicans at least) because it failed to carry out the job it was given in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but because it could not do the new job is was given in the sixteenth century. Organ alternatim made sense in a gothic worldview, but less so under the influence of renaissance humanism. While these Dominicans accepted the use of the organ, they did so with great concern at the potential influx of secular music into worship, since secular melodies and rhythms, even without their original words, bring multiple inappropriate associations. To remedy this, various strategies were used to harness instrumental music to text. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Spirituality) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle A Cognitive Science View of Abhinavagupta’s Understanding of Consciousness
Religions 2014, 5(3), 767-779; doi:10.3390/rel5030767
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 21 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
PDF Full-text (198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper offers a comparative analysis of the nature of consciousness correlating the insights of the 11th century Śaiva philosopher Abhinavagupta with the work of some contemporary philosophers of consciousness. Ultimately these comparisons especially bring to light possibilities for constructing a materialist [...] Read more.
This paper offers a comparative analysis of the nature of consciousness correlating the insights of the 11th century Śaiva philosopher Abhinavagupta with the work of some contemporary philosophers of consciousness. Ultimately these comparisons especially bring to light possibilities for constructing a materialist paradigm that might operate from a prioritization of subjectivity rather than objectivity. I propose that the Hindu, nondual Śaivite system that Abhinavagupta lays out offers a framework that may be useful for contemporary cognitive science and philosophy of mind precisely because Abhinavagupta offers a theory for connecting the material with the phenomenal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Religion: Buddhist and Hindu Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Faith and Work: An Exploratory Study of Religious Entrepreneurs
Religions 2014, 5(3), 780-800; doi:10.3390/rel5030780
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 14 August 2014
PDF Full-text (119 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of religion on work has not been fully explored, and, in particular, the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship as a specific type of work. This study explores the link between entrepreneurial behavior and religion. The study finds that religion, for [...] Read more.
The influence of religion on work has not been fully explored, and, in particular, the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship as a specific type of work. This study explores the link between entrepreneurial behavior and religion. The study finds that religion, for entrepreneurs, is highly individualized, leading to the initial impression that religion and work have no relationship. Upon closer inspection, however, the study finds that religion does shape entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurial activity is impacted by a need for the entrepreneurs to reinterpret their work in religious terms, ending the tension for them between faith and work. Full article
Open AccessArticle Religion and Relationships in Muslim Families: A Qualitative Examination of Devout Married Muslim Couples
Religions 2014, 5(3), 814-833; doi:10.3390/rel5030814
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since 11 September 2001, Islam has been the center of many debates, discussions, parodies and publications. Many Muslims feel that their religion has been portrayed unfairly in Western media. The topics that seem to generate the most criticism relate to gender roles [...] Read more.
Since 11 September 2001, Islam has been the center of many debates, discussions, parodies and publications. Many Muslims feel that their religion has been portrayed unfairly in Western media. The topics that seem to generate the most criticism relate to gender roles and the treatment of women, both inside the home and in society. The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceived role of Islam on marital and familial relationships from an insider’s perspective and to present participants’ reflections on sensitive issues, including gender roles, women’s rights and marital unity. Content analysis of in-depth interviews of twenty diverse Shia and Sunni Muslim couples living in the U.S. (n = 40) yielded three emergent themes: (1) Islam as a way of life; (2) Islam as a unifying force; and (3) gender roles and the treatment of women. These data suggest that, as perceived by our religiously involved “insider” participants, Islam influences marriage relationships, unites families and (when understood and lived properly) protects women from abuse and oppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Religion and Marriage Timing: A Replication and Extension
Religions 2014, 5(3), 834-851; doi:10.3390/rel5030834
Received: 15 June 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
PDF Full-text (140 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous studies have revealed denominational subculture variations in marriage timing in the U.S. with conservative Protestants marrying at a much younger age than Catholics and the unaffiliated. However, the effects of other religious factors, such as worship service attendance and religious salience, [...] Read more.
Previous studies have revealed denominational subculture variations in marriage timing in the U.S. with conservative Protestants marrying at a much younger age than Catholics and the unaffiliated. However, the effects of other religious factors, such as worship service attendance and religious salience, remain overlooked. Informed by a theoretical framework that integrates the denominational subculture variation thesis and the gendered religiosity thesis, this study replicates, updates, and extends previous research by examining the effects of religiosity on the timing of first marriage among 10,403 men and 12,279 women using pooled cross-sectional data from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006–2010. Our survival regression models indicate that: (1) consistent with previous research, Protestants in general, and conservative Protestants in particular, marry earlier than the religiously unaffiliated; (2) irrespective of denominational affiliation, increased frequency of worship service attendance decreases age at first marriage for both men and women, whereas religious salience is associated with earlier marriage only for women; (3) among Catholics, as worship service attendance increases, the waiting time to first marriage decreases; and (4) among Protestants, however, worship service attendance decreases age at first marriage for men who are affiliated with mainline and non-denominational Protestant churches, while for women the decrease in age at first marriage associated with worship service attendance is found for those who report a conservative Protestant affiliation. The complex intersections of denominational affiliation, frequency of worship service attendance, religious salience, and gender are discussed. Results suggest that religion continues to exert influences on marriage timing among recent birth cohorts of young Americans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Who is in Control? How Women in a Halfway House Use Faith to Recover from Drug Addiction
Religions 2014, 5(3), 852-870; doi:10.3390/rel5030852
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 13 August 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
PDF Full-text (86 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Religious adherents from most major faith traditions struggle in balancing their individual agency with divine leadership. While this issue of individual versus divine control is complex for those in free society, it becomes even more so when applied to those in correctional [...] Read more.
Religious adherents from most major faith traditions struggle in balancing their individual agency with divine leadership. While this issue of individual versus divine control is complex for those in free society, it becomes even more so when applied to those in correctional and treatment settings. For those attempting to recover from drug addiction, a common conclusion is that drugs have taken control of their lives, thus it is necessary for them to reclaim control. Via a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with 30 former drug addicts residing in a faith-based halfway house for women, we explore how the women make sense of losing control of their lives due to their drug use, but then being taught to regain control by surrendering to a higher power. We find strong evidence of Deferring and Collaborative religious coping styles and these coping styles structure how the women discuss the future and their strategies for success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessCommunication This Battlefield Called My Body: Warring over the Muslim Female
Religions 2014, 5(3), 876-885; doi:10.3390/rel5030876
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 20 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
PDF Full-text (66 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This communication centers on the argument that there is an ideological tug-of-war over the Muslim female body. The author discusses how religious and secular patriarchies, as well as feminism all make claims to the bodies of Muslim women and purport to know [...] Read more.
This communication centers on the argument that there is an ideological tug-of-war over the Muslim female body. The author discusses how religious and secular patriarchies, as well as feminism all make claims to the bodies of Muslim women and purport to know what is best for her. With particular focus on the headscarf and using comparisons with how non-Muslim women’s bodies are fought over, the author argues that there is a common thread connecting the warring sides as they each employ patriarchal and imperialist views of the Muslim woman that attempt to consume her agency. As the author examines the personal agency and veiling motives of Muslim woman, she counters the idea of Muslim women as passive recipients of mainstream religious and secular narratives imposed upon them by sharing different ways in which they self-author their own narratives in a post-9/11 USA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body and Religion)
Open AccessArticle How to be (the Author of) Born Again: Charles Colson and the Writing of Conversion in the Age of Evangelicalism
Religions 2014, 5(3), 886-911; doi:10.3390/rel5030886
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 27 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
PDF Full-text (128 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Charles Colson’s Born Again was the most celebrated spiritual memoir of the 1970s evangelical revival, and remains the best-known book-length conversion narrative of the twentieth century. Its account of how Colson—notoriously ruthless as a political aide to President Nixon—abruptly invited Christ into [...] Read more.
Charles Colson’s Born Again was the most celebrated spiritual memoir of the 1970s evangelical revival, and remains the best-known book-length conversion narrative of the twentieth century. Its account of how Colson—notoriously ruthless as a political aide to President Nixon—abruptly invited Christ into his life in the late summer of 1973 following a long searching discussion with a Christian friend and of how he came to submit himself completely to God’s will, inspired evangelicals to hope that the broader national crisis of morals exemplified by Watergate might be purged by the fires of revival. Colson went on, as founder of the world’s largest prison ministry and as a leading evangelical thinker and writer, to place a highly-structured model of conversion at the centre of his ambitions for evangelical mission in the world. However, as revealed by his private papers, Colson’s own conversion experience was more complex and ambiguous than either his published memoir or later works of advocacy suggest. His editor, Leonard LeSourd, played a significant role in shaping Born Again to match the conceptual norms of popular evangelicalism and contribute the force of a recent, conspicuous and apparently secure example of individual spiritual rebirth to the wider evangelical project of religious revival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Historical Studies of Religions)
Open AccessArticle Perspectives on Drug Addiction in Islamic History and Theology
Religions 2014, 5(3), 912-928; doi:10.3390/rel5030912
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 28 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
PDF Full-text (80 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How does Islam view substance addiction? What happens to the soul of the person suffering from addictive disorder? What happens to his relationship with God? These are some of the questions that this article tries to answer. Three models on drug addiction [...] Read more.
How does Islam view substance addiction? What happens to the soul of the person suffering from addictive disorder? What happens to his relationship with God? These are some of the questions that this article tries to answer. Three models on drug addiction from an Islamic theological perspective will be explored here. Two of them are preventative models based on an understanding of society rooted in shame-culture, while the third model, called Millati Islami, practiced in the USA, is founded on the Islamic understanding of tawba (repentance). Furthermore, drugs and addiction in scripture, as well as medieval Muslims society’s attitude towards them are explored. As a whole, the models discussed in the article demonstrate that Islamic theology possesses the intellectual and theoretical tools to develop fully-fledged theological models of addiction, and a suggestion to explore one model is made in the conclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Addiction)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Bringing the Congregations Back in: Religious Markets, Congregational Density, and American Religious Participation
Religions 2014, 5(3), 929-947; doi:10.3390/rel5030929
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We draw on the organizational ecology tradition to frame the relationship between the religious environment of a community and local religious participation. Prior research linking religious environments to religious participation downplays a key organizational aspect of religion: the congregation. Following the organizational [...] Read more.
We draw on the organizational ecology tradition to frame the relationship between the religious environment of a community and local religious participation. Prior research linking religious environments to religious participation downplays a key organizational aspect of religion: the congregation. Following the organizational ecology usage of density, we argue that congregational density—the number of congregations per person within a community—impacts religious involvement by providing opportunities for participation and by fostering social accountability networks within congregations. Drawing on data from the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, we test the hypothesis that congregational density in a locality is associated with greater religious participation by residents. Our findings indicate that persons residing in congregationally dense communities are more likely to be members of churches, to attend church regularly, to participate in church-based activities, to participate in non-church religious organizations, to volunteer for religious work, and to give to religious causes. These findings hold while controlling for an array of individual and contextual-level variables. This notion of congregational density suggests that local factors transcend broader theological and/or denominational boundaries, resulting in variations in religious participation and commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview The Resurgence of Religion in America’s Prisons
Religions 2014, 5(3), 663-683; doi:10.3390/rel5030663
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 July 2014 / Published: 4 August 2014
PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses the growing prominence of “faith-based” programs in American corrections and the historical context of penal regime change during periods of economic crisis. The article traces areas of overlap and divergence in recent discussions of penal reform in the U.S. [...] Read more.
This article discusses the growing prominence of “faith-based” programs in American corrections and the historical context of penal regime change during periods of economic crisis. The article traces areas of overlap and divergence in recent discussions of penal reform in the U.S. The article suggests a new American penitentiary movement is emerging, noting central tenets of faith-based programs have salience for both conservatives and liberals: on the one hand, faith-based programs are largely paid for by church congregations and volunteers, which appeals to conservatives’ desire to shrink government and get taxpayers out of the business of community building; on the other, faith-based programs demonstrate a recommitment to having at least some level of programming in prisons, which satisfies the left’s view that community building and social capital ultimately lower recidivism. The paper documents several prominent faith-based correctional programs while articulating an agenda for research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessReview Faith, Food and Fettle: Is Individual and Neighborhood Religiosity/Spirituality Associated with a Better Diet?
Religions 2014, 5(3), 801-813; doi:10.3390/rel5030801
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 18 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 14 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (65 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diet is an important contributor to many non-communicable diseases. Religion and spirituality (R/S) has a salutary effect on physical health, and one of the possible links between R/S and positive health outcomes is a better diet. Religious neighborhoods might also play a [...] Read more.
Diet is an important contributor to many non-communicable diseases. Religion and spirituality (R/S) has a salutary effect on physical health, and one of the possible links between R/S and positive health outcomes is a better diet. Religious neighborhoods might also play a role in influencing the adoption of a healthier diet. Suggestions for future research in R/S and diet are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health and Psychology of Religion)

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