Religions2014, 5(4), 1175-1187; doi:10.3390/rel5041175 (registering DOI) - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The statements of researchers on the topic of basket divination and the statements of basket diviners in northwest Zambia, Africa, do not fully agree. While researchers rightly stress the importance of observation, analysis and interpretation in basket divination, going so far as to describe diviners as scientists, they fail to recognize that divination is not an abstract, disembodied undertaking. Truthful knowledge is not flushed out of the diviner’s mind as a set of theoretical propositions; it is instead delivered by an ancestral spirit that becomes objectified in three symbiotic forms: physical pain, configurations of material objects laid out inside a basket, and the diviner’s translation of those meaningful configurations into words. In basket divination, human bodies, artifacts, words, and spirits work together in symbiosis. Knowing is a spiritual, intellectual, and embodied undertaking. The challenge then is to conceptualize basket divination as an integrative way of knowing in such a way that one does not fail to recognize either the neurobiological substrate that we all share as humans or those others facets—such as the numen—without which basket divination as a cultural practice would cease to exist.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1161-1174; doi:10.3390/rel5041161 - published 9 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We will soon be piloting a project titled “Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care” that will form “spiritual care teams” to assess and address patients’ spiritual needs in physician outpatient practices within Adventist Health System, the largest Protestant healthcare system in the United States. This paper describes the goals, the rationale, and the structure of the spiritual care teams that will soon be implemented, and discusses the barriers to providing spiritual care that health professionals are likely to encounter. Spiritual care teams may operate in an outpatient or an inpatient setting, and their purpose is to provide health professionals with resources necessary to practice whole person healthcare that includes spiritual care. We believe that this project will serve as a model for faith-based health systems seeking to visibly demonstrate their mission in a way that makes them unique and expresses their values. Not only does this model have the potential to be cost-effective, but also the capacity to increase the quality of patient care and the satisfaction that health professionals derive from providing care. If successful, this model could spread beyond faith-based systems to secular systems as well both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1146-1160; doi:10.3390/rel5041146 - published 9 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents an attempt to discuss in more detail the question of understanding of religious experience in the context of the Christian religion, as well as to show the characteristic extraordinary religious experiences accompanying many people during that experience. The question of experiences evoked by psychedelic drugs, such as the issue of a vision and chemical ecstasy, are not discussed here, and instead the author has chosen to present only typical phenomena accompanying religious experience, which are caused by God’s doing, like visions, ecstasy, glossolalia (speaking in tongues) or stigmata. The paper also presents their role and contribution to the process of a human being’s religious development.
Religions2014, 5(4), 1132-1145; doi:10.3390/rel5041132 - published 2 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aim of this research is to study the impact of religious coping, social support and subjective severity on Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in people who lost their homes after the earthquake in Chile in 2010 and who now live in transitional shelters. One hundred sixteen adult men and women were evaluated using a subjective severity scale, the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) scale of social support and the Brief RCOPE scale of religious coping. The multiple linear regression analysis shows that social support and positive religious coping have an impact on PTG. On using a bootstrap estimate, it was found that positive religious coping fully mediates the relationship between subjective severity and PTG.
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.