Religions2014, 5(3), 886-911; doi:10.3390/rel5030886 - published 11 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
Religions2014, 5(3), 876-885; doi:10.3390/rel5030876 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
Religions2014, 5(3), 871-875; doi:10.3390/rel5030871 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 was accompanied by positivistic and mechanistic paradigms underlying empirical research and claims of scientific dignity . 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 , Granville Stanley Hall, James Henry Leuba and Edwin Diller Starbuck  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 . 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 .
Religions2014, 5(3), 852-870; doi:10.3390/rel5030852 - published 25 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
Religions2014, 5(3), 834-851; doi:10.3390/rel5030834 - published 22 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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, 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.
Religions2014, 5(3), 814-833; doi:10.3390/rel5030814 - published 15 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.