Religions2016, 7(6), 62; doi:10.3390/rel7060062 (registering DOI) - published 27 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The relationship between social work field education, religiously affiliated organizations, and local philanthropic organizations is explored in this case study of a grant-funded project called the Congregational Social Work Education Initiative. Religiously affiliated organizations have traditionally been involved in the provision of social welfare services; yet, social work education has not embraced this tradition in ways that are intentional. Additionally, the impact of religion-based traditions on philanthropy is interesting and, here, this relationship is explored through tracing the history of a prominent family in the community of Greensboro, North Carolina. The unlikely collaboration between social work field education, religiously affiliated organizations, and a local philanthropic community health entity yields some interesting considerations for how communities can come together toward a vision of improved health.
Religions2016, 7(6), 63; doi:10.3390/rel7060063 (registering DOI) - published 27 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Since 2005, a number of European films have emerged examining the legacy of Christianity in Western Europe, and the ways in which men, women and children struggle to negotiate questions of religion and secularity, the personal and the institutional, faith and doubt. This article looks at two of these films—Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes (2009) and Dietrich Brüggemann’s Stations of the Cross (2014)—in relation to questions of religious experience, the female body and film style. In both films the battle between these opposing categories is played out on the bodies of women—a paraplegic MS sufferer in Lourdes, an anorexic teen in Stations of the Cross—and both the films end ambiguously with what may, or may not, be a miracle of sorts: a confirmation of faith or a rebuttal. I wish to connect this ambiguity to the use of a very distinctive mise-en-scene in both films, which relies on a heavily restricted colour palate; highly formalised, painterly-compositions; and crucially what David Bordwell has termed “planimetric photography”: a shooting style that eschews depth or diagonals, refusing the spectator entrance into the image and holding her instead at a deliberate distance. My argument, in short, is that these stylistic choices—while gesturing towards a tradition of Christian art—also refuse the spectator either visual or haptic knowledge of the events that the characters undergo. Rather, they are suggestive of the fundamental unknowability that characterises religious experience, leaving us alone, outside of the action, forced to negotiate ourselves between belief and doubt.
Religions2016, 7(6), 61; doi:10.3390/rel7060061 - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The cultural and religious resources of every community influence the definition of spiritual care. This paper discusses a concept analysis of spiritual care in an Islamic context. The Quran, narrations (Shie’h) and commentarial books were searched, for information data. The data was used to provide a comprehensive definition of the concept of spiritual care from Islamic literature. We identified the attributes, antecedents and consequences of spiritual care according to Roger’s concept analysis approach. The review of the Islamic text showed that spiritual care is a series of spiritual skills or competencies that help patients to achieve excellent life. It is grouped into categories and has numerous positive effects on patients and caregivers. This study will be useful to Muslim clinicians and nurse educators as they strive to understand and incorporate spiritual care within their practice for Muslim patients.
Religions2016, 7(5), 56; doi:10.3390/rel7050056 - published 20 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study explores the properties of the New Indices of Religious Orientation Revised (NIROR) among a sample of 521 Canadian adolescents attending a Baptist youth mission and service event, ranging in age from 12 to 19 years. This revision simplified the language of the original instrument to increase its accessibility among young people. The data support the internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the three revised nine-item scales designed to operationalise extrinsic religious orientation, intrinsic religious orientation, and quest religious orientation.
Religions2016, 7(5), 57; doi:10.3390/rel7050057 - published 20 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Efforts to enlist small faith-related organizations as partners in public service delivery raise many questions. Using community social service networks as the unit of analysis, this paper asks one with broader relevance to nonprofit sector managers: What factors support and constrain effective integration of these organizations into a local service delivery network? The evidence and illustrations come from longitudinal case studies of five faith-related organizations who received their first government contract as part of a California faith-based initiative. By comparing the organizational development and network partnership trajectories of these organizations over more than a decade, the analysis identifies four key variables influencing partnership dynamics and outcomes: organizational niche within the local network; leadership connections and network legitimacy; faith-inspired commitments and persistence; and core organizational competencies and capacities. The evidence supports shifting the focus of faith-based initiatives to emphasize local planning and network development, taking into account how these four variables apply to specific organizations and their community context.
Religions2016, 7(5), 59; doi:10.3390/rel7050059 - published 20 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In the last thirty years of his life, Leo Tolstoy wrote numerous books, essays and pamphlets expounding his newly-articulated views on violence, the state, the church, and on how to improve the human condition. Since then, these “Christian anarchist” views have often been dismissed as utopian or naive, and, despite inspiring many activists and intellectuals, often forgotten or ignored. Some of those views and arguments, however, arguably remain apposite today—and can in some cases be applied to broader phenomena than those he identified. This article focuses on one of the aspects of his Christian anarchist thought: his anticlericalism. The first Section recounts the evolution of Tolstoy’s views on religion and the church, and briefly describes Tolstoy’s peculiar metaphysics. The second outlines his main charges against the church, discusses some common objections to it, and considers the continuing relevance of his anticlericalism. The third seeks to secularise his anticlerical arguments by applying them beyond the church, against secular preachers and institutions, and does so by reflecting on the quality of debate in the contemporary public sphere, on the hypocritical distance between the morality preached by secular “clerics” and their practice, and on the steady process of ossification and betrayal which befalls secular political ideals. The article thus contributes to the literature firstly by summarising, discussing and reflecting upon the anticlericalism of a famous writer who also espoused controversial religious and political views; secondly by succinctly outlining his idiosyncratic metaphysics, including his peculiar reinterpretation of traditional Christian referents; and thirdly by applying the arguments that informed his criticisms of the church to a broader variety of religious and secular secular institutions.