Religions2015, 6(3), 781-793; doi:10.3390/rel6030781 - published 25 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Research suggests that congregational characteristics are associated with the racial attitudes of American churchgoers. This study examines the relationship between congregational size and beliefs about the Black/White socioeconomic gap among religious adherents. Method. Drawing upon data from the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study, we fit binary logistic regression models to estimate the association between congregational size and Americans’ explanations of Black/White economic inequality. Results. Findings reveal that attendees of larger congregations are less likely than attendees of smaller congregations to explain racial inequality as the result of the racial discrimination. The likelihood of explaining racial inequality in terms of personal motivation does not vary by congregation size. Conclusion. Despite the growing diversity in larger congregations in America, such congregations may steer attendees’ views about racial inequality away from systemic/structural factors, which may attenuate the ability of such congregations to bridge racial divisions.
Religions2015, 6(3), 763-780; doi:10.3390/rel6030763 - published 25 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: To analyse how patients with chronic diseases would interpret their illness, and how these interpretations were related to spirituality/religiosity, life satisfaction, and escape from illness, we performed a cross-sectional survey among patients with chronic diseases from Poland (n = 275) using standardized questionnaires. Illness was interpreted mostly as an Adverse Interruption of life (61%), Threat/Enemy (50%), Challenge (42%), and rarely as a Punishment (8%). Regression analyses revealed that escape from illness was the best predictor of negative disease perceptions and also strategy associated disease perceptions, and a negative predictor of illness as something of Value, while Value was predicted best by specific spiritual issues. Patients’ religious Trust and partner status were among the significant contributors to their life satisfaction. Data show that specific dimensions of spirituality are important predictors for patients’ interpretation of illness. Particularly the fatalistic negative perceptions could be indicators that patients may require further psychological assistance to cope with their burden.
Religions2015, 6(3), 755-762; doi:10.3390/rel6030755 - published 24 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: When St. Bonaventure University decided to redesign its core curriculum, we turned to Bonaventure’s account of the mind’s journey to God in the Itinerarium Mentis in Deum as a paradigm by which to give coherence to the undergraduate experience consistent with our mission and tradition. Bonaventure was himself an Augustinian philosopher and thus Augustine’s Confessions holds a place of great significance in our first year seminar where it is studied in conjunction with Bonaventure’s inward turn to find God imprinted on his soul. This paper is an account of the original rationale for including Augustine’s Confessions in our curriculum and a report of continuing faculty and student attitudes towards that text nearly two decades later.
Religions2015, 6(2), 742-754; doi:10.3390/rel6020742 - published 23 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Though many scientists and scholars of the environmental humanities are referring to the current geological era as the anthropocene, this article argues that there are some problems with this trope and the narrative that emerges from it. First, responsibility for the current era of climate weirding is not shared equally, some humans are way more responsible than others. Second, the claim of the anthropocene works rhetorically to maintain a sense of human exceptionalism from the rest of the evolution of life on the planet. Third and finally, the suggestion that this geological era be named the anthropocene suggests that the problem and the solution to our ecological crisis lie with Homo sapiens. Does this not re-create the sense of mastery that has fueled contemporary planetary ills in the first place? This paper argues that the idea of agency must be reconfigured and redistributed throughout the planetary community in order to deal with the wicked problems arising from climate weirding and an uncertain future.
Religions2015, 6(2), 724-741; doi:10.3390/rel6020724 - published 17 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Why is it so easy to ignore the ecological and economic crises of the Anthropocene? This article unveils some of the religious biases whose covert operation facilitates the repression or rejection of warnings about the consequences of extreme climate change and excessive capitalist consumption. The evolved defaults that are most relevant for our purposes here have to do with mental credulity toward religious content (beliefs about supernatural agents) and with social congruity in religious contexts (behaviors shaped by supernatural rituals). Learning how to contest these phylogenetically inherited and culturally fortified biases may be a necessary condition for adapting to and altering our current natural and social environments in ways that will enhance the chances for the survival (and flourishing) of Homo sapiens and other sentient species. I outline a conceptual framework, derived from empirical findings and theoretical developments in the bio-cultural sciences of religion, which can help clarify why and how gods are imaginatively conceived and nurtured by ritually engaged believers. Finally, I discuss the role that “adaptive atheism” might play in responding to the crises of the Anthropocene.
Religions2015, 6(2), 712-723; doi:10.3390/rel6020712 - published 17 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Background: The Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) has been developed through extensive and qualitative research. Numerous studies have confirmed the reliability and validity of the DSES among different populations. Most of the studies have shown association of the DSES with physical and psychological well-being. Purpose: The current study aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the DSES in the Croatian population. Method: The 16-item scale was translated through standard translation/back-translation procedures. The scale was afterwards applied to a sample of 535 test subjects (49% men and 51% women), mean age 42.6 years. Results: The coefficient of reliability (Cronbach alpha = 0.945) is very high. The coefficients of discriminant validity were satisfactory for 15 items, whereas only one item (14) has a coefficient of less than 0.30. The factor analysis after oblique rotation resulted in two related factors: the relationship with God and relationship with others. Using these two factors explained the 66.1% of the variance. Conclusion: Based on the data, it can be concluded that DSES has satisfactory psychometric characteristics and can be applied to the Croatian population, but its correlation with other religious and non-religious constructs should be verified in further research.