Religions2014, 5(4), 1116-1131; doi:10.3390/rel5041116 - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Despite increasingly egalitarian gender roles in the United States, when the wedding bells ring for heterosexual couples, husband and wife still commonly emerge sharing the man’s last name. Largely missing from previous studies of marital name change is the influence of religion. We examine the marital naming plans of 199 students from four Evangelical colleges. Nearly all these students planned to marry and more than 80% planned to follow the traditional naming pattern for their gender. Bivariate correlations and logistic regression models reveal that private prayer and more literal views of the Bible correspond to plans for a traditional marital surname. Yet, only a small minority of students evoked religious language to justify their surname choice. Gender roles, identity, and tradition were dominant themes in their explanations. Whether recognized or not, personal religiosity and the model of marriage cultivated in religious families guide the marital naming intentions of Evangelical students. Thus, religion operates as an invisible influence shaping ideals of marriage and family within Evangelical subculture.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1087-1115; doi:10.3390/rel5041087 - published 12 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Many mourners turn to their spiritual beliefs and traditions when confronted by the death of a loved one. However, prior studies have either focused primarily on the benefits of faith following loss or studied spiritual struggle outside the context of bereavement. Moreover, scales to measure bereavement-related crises of faith and interventions specifically designed for spiritually inclined, distressed grievers are virtually non-existent. Our program of research, which to date has consisted of working with Christian grievers and is outlined below, elucidates complicated spiritual grief (CSG)—a spiritual crisis following the loss of a loved one. For example, our longitudinal examination of 46 African American homicide survivors established the relation between positive religious coping, CSG, and complicated grief (CG), to clarify whether religious coping more strongly predicted bereavement distress or vice versa, with a follow-up study that determined the relation between religious coping and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. We replicated and expanded these findings with a diverse sample of 150 grievers to explore the complex relation between CSG, CG, and meaning making in a comparison study of mourners who had experienced traumatic-versus natural death losses. In a companion study, we qualitatively analyzed 84 grievers’ narratives and interviewed a 5-member focus group to capture and learn from their firsthand experiences of spiritual distress. To close the gap in terms of CSG assessment, we also developed and validated the Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief (ICSG). Currently, our ongoing CSG investigation extends in several directions: first, to a sample of family members anticipating the loss of their hospice-eligible loved one in palliative care; and, second, to the development and testing of a writing-intensive intervention for newly bereaved, spiritually inclined grievers.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1062-1086; doi:10.3390/rel5041062 - published 6 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: From its venerable Buddhist roots, mindfulness training (MT) has spread rapidly across the globe in the past few decades due to its strong salutary claim, i.e., the notion that meditation practice is an efficacious means for self-improvement. However, concerns have arisen that the appropriation of MT techniques from classical Buddhist tradition into modern secular practice has diluted the benefits of these practices. The “great danger” to the movement is that inadequately adapted MT techniques, combined with unreasonable inflation of expectations regarding MT’s benefits, may undermine MT’s true potential to effect positive change in the world. And yet, these concerns can be mitigated by consideration of the salutary claim as a persistent “quality check” on MT efficacy. It is argued that scientific investigation can take an important role in delineating the necessary characteristics for fulfilling mindfulness’ salutary claim, as well as identifying contraindicated techniques and risk factors for training. By accepting that we cannot control the spread of MT into commercial domains, researchers may still work to distinguish “right” from “wrong” mindfulness through empirical study. In this way, modern science may help to realize the salutary claim and even contribute to classical Buddhist conceptions of mindfulness, advancing our understanding of how best to promote well-being.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1050-1061; doi:10.3390/rel5041050 - published 21 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Our ten-year study examined the association between compassionate love (CL)—other-centered love, as well as compassionate self-love, and spiritual coping (SC)—the use of spirituality (connection to a Higher Presence or God) as a means to cope with trauma, and gender differences in 177 people living with HIV (PLWH). In a secondary data analysis of six-monthly interviews/essays, we coded five criteria of CL and rated the benefit of CL giving, receiving and self for the recipient. Synergistically, we rated longitudinal SC based on coding of 18 coping strategies. Overall, mean CL towards self was very high, followed by CL receiving and giving, while mean SC was moderately high. Women, in comparison to men, perceived higher benefit from SC and giving CL to others. Overall, CL towards self had the strongest association with SC, more pronounced in women than in men. Beyond gender, only CL for the self was a significant predictor of SC. Although there was a moderate association between SC and the perceived benefit from giving CL, after controlling for gender, this association was present in men only. Conversely, receiving CL from others yields a stronger association with SC in women than in men. Women perceived to benefit significantly more from SC and giving CL to others compared to men, whereas no gender differences were found on perceiving benefit from receiving CL from others or oneself. In conclusion, although women perceive more benefit from giving CL to others than men, this does not explain the higher benefit from SC among women. Ultimately, both men and women perceive to benefit more from SC the more they exhibit CL towards self and thus spiritual counseling should keep the importance of the balance between CL towards self and others in mind.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1037-1049; doi:10.3390/rel5041037 - published 20 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article reviews Native American ritual practices, frameworks and key concepts employed by several substance abuse treatments centres in the U.S. and Canada. It also examines the way Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Step programme has been modified to attract and serve the needs of Native Americans and First Nations and its potential impact on the ritual practices. Native concepts of wellbeing are highlighted and linked to the idea of living in “balance”.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1017-1036; doi:10.3390/rel5041017 - published 20 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article advocates a “glocal turn” in the religion–globalization problematic. It proposes a model of multiple glocalizations in order to analyze the historically constituted relationship between world religions and local cultures. First, the conceptual evolution from globalization to glocalization is discussed with special reference to the study of the religion. Second, the necessity for adopting the perspective of the longue durée with regard to the study of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is explained. Third, an outline of four forms of religious glocalization is proposed. Each of these forms is presented both analytically as well as through examples from the history of Eastern Christianity (from the 8th to the 21st century). It is argued that this approach offers a model for analyzing the relation between religion, culture and society that does not succumb to the Western bias inherent in the conventional narrative of western modernization and secularization.