Religions2016, 7(8), 95; doi:10.3390/rel7080095 (registering DOI) - published 25 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Previous researchers who have studied children’s spirituality have often used narrow measures that do not account for the rich spiritual experiences of children within a multi-faith context. In the current study, we describe the initial stages of development of a children’s spirituality measure, in which items were derived from children’s spiritual narratives. An exploratory factor analysis of the items revealed three main factors, including Comfort (Factor 1), Omnipresence (Factor 2), and Duality (Factor 3). As rated by their parents, children from families that were more spiritual and religious had higher scores on the newly-developed measure. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Religions2016, 7(7), 94; doi:10.3390/rel7070094 - published 19 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mothers and Spirits examines the intersection of women, alcohol, and death through a comparative analysis. Offering a brief history of the study of drinking, followed by a short analysis of drinking in European and Chinese cultures, Cann examines two religious texts central to the roles of women and alcohol in Chinese religious thought and Christianity. Finally, Cann utilizes the historical and textual background to contextualize her ethnographic study of women, alcohol, and death in Mexican Catholicism, Chinese religions, and American Southern Baptist Christianity. Cann argues that both alcohol and temperance are used as a way to forge, cement, and create gender identity, constructing alternate discourses of power and inclusivity.
Religions2016, 7(7), 93; doi:10.3390/rel7070093 - published 16 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper investigates the research question: How do religious youth learn to give? While it is likely that youth learn religious financial giving from a variety of different sources, this investigation focuses primarily on how parents teach giving to their children. Supplementary data are also analyzed on the frequency in which youth hear extra-familial calls to give within their religious congregations. In focusing on parental transmission, the analysis identifies a number of approaches that parents report using to teach their children religious financial giving. It also investigates thoughts and feelings about religious financial giving by the children of these parents as a means of assessing the potential impacts of parental methods. Additionally, congregation member reflections on how they learned to give provide insights on giving as a process that develops across the life course, often instilled in childhood, but not appearing behaviorally until adulthood. As such, this paper contributes to a life course understanding of religious giving and has implications for giving across generations.
Religions2016, 7(7), 91; doi:10.3390/rel7070091 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Adolescents, when faced with cancer and hospitalization, experience different needs that can have a profound impact on the adolescent and their family. Spirituality and religion are helpful in order to find meaning in the experience of cancer. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the spiritual/religious needs of adolescents with cancer in Iran. This study was an exploratory qualitative research. Adolescents with cancer, their families and nurses working in cancer unit formed the participants. The study environment was the cancer unit and the study population was adolescents with cancer in Kerman, Iran. Purposeful sampling and, semi-structured interviews with 14 adolescents with cancer and their families and six nurses were performed individually. To analyze the data, qualitative content analysis was used. From the data analysis four main themes emerged: the need for a relationship with God; the need for a relationship with the self; the need for a relationship with others; and the need for a relationship with the environment and nature. The results of this study provided a new vision in meeting the spiritual/religious needs of adolescents with cancer. According our result, adolescents with cancer, in addition to their developmental stage, need to face the other needs that can come along with the needs of this age period. Regarding these needs, it is helpful to find purpose and meaning in the experience of suffering and pain, and it can prevent spiritual distress.
Religions2016, 7(7), 92; doi:10.3390/rel7070092 - published 15 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Existing research on religious identity, especially from a narrative perspective, has tended to focus either on accounts of the past (especially occasions of religious change) or on conceptions of religious identity in the present. Religious communities, however, not only provide a sense of identity and belonging in the present—as a “Catholic” or “Buddhist,” for example—they also promote a particular vision of the religious ideal: The way of being-in-the-world that all adherents are (or ought to be) striving to achieve. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews, this paper describes and analyzes the identity and lifestyle goals of participants in two communities of practice: An Integral Yoga studio and a Catholic prayer house. I find that the ideal spiritual self in both communities is defined by three key characteristics: A sacred gaze, a simultaneous sense of presence and detachment, and a holistic style of identity management. I suggest that in constructing and transmitting a shared vision of the “enlightened self,” these organizations offer practitioners a highly desirable but ever-elusive aspirational identity. This study calls attention to religious organizations as important suppliers of possible identities—the identities, either desired and feared, we think we could or might become in the future—and reveals the situated and contextual nature of adherents’ religious aspirations.
Religions2016, 7(7), 90; doi:10.3390/rel7070090 - published 12 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The religious lives of young adults have generally been investigated by examining what young people believe and their self-reported religious practices. Far less is known about young adults’ organizational involvement and its impact on religious identities and ideas about religious commitment. Using data from site visit observations of religious congregations and organizations, and individual and focus group interviews with college-age black and white Christians, we find differences in how black and white students talk about their religious involvement; and with how they are incorporated into the lives of their congregations. White students tended to offer “organizational biographies” chronicling the contours of belonging as well as disengagement, and emphasizing the importance of fulfilling personal needs as a criterion for maintaining involvement. On the other hand, black students used “family” and “home” language and metaphors to describe how their religious involvement, a voluntary choice, was tied to a sense of “calling” and community. We show that this variation is aligned with organizational differences in black and white congregations that situate white youth as separate and black youth as integrated into the larger church community.