Special Issue "Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life"

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A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Joanne E. Roberts (Website)

Hardin Simmons University, PO Box 16216, Abilene, Texas 79698, USA
Phone: 325-670-5863
Fax: 325-670-5865
Interests: family and religion; family rituals and traditions; racial/ethnic group relations
Guest Editor
Dr. Jeremy R. Rhodes (Website)

Hardin Simmons University, PO Box 16216, Abilene, Texas 79698, USA
Phone: 325-670-1274
Fax: 325-670-5865
Interests: religion; political sociology; criminology & deviance; quantitative methodology; religious identity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The social sciences have been slow to embrace the significance of religion and spirituality in social life, and in particular, family life. During the last twenty years, many family researchers have directed their attention to the relationship between religion, spirituality, and family life, yet no discipline has dominated the field. As a result, the research has been multi-disciplinary and varied in its focus and content. The literature is growing but there remain gaps and inconsistencies in our understanding of the institutions, social structures, and social interactions that contribute to the relationship between religion, spirituality and family life. In addition, the meaning of basic terminology, such as religion and spirituality, continue to be debated and revised, and theoretical perspectives that specifically address the relationship between these variables are just beginning to emerge. Appropriate methodologies for studying religion, spirituality, and family life are being debated, and there is inadequate research (and sometimes no research at all) in many content areas. There remains much to be learned about the reciprocal nature of religion, spirituality, and family life. This special issue will bring together family and religion scholars from different fields who are contributing in significant ways to our knowledge of this topic. Scholars will address conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues and at the end of each article authors will conclude with how their work fits into the current field of family, religion, and spirituality and how others may contribute to this literature.

Prof. Dr. Joanne E Roberts
Dr. Jeremy R. Rhodes
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • religion
  • spirituality
  • prayer
  • family
  • marriage
  • methods
  • parenting and child
  • sanctification
  • relationship formation
  • relationship well-being

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Religion and Relationships in Muslim Families: A Qualitative Examination of Devout Married Muslim Couples
Religions 2014, 5(3), 814-833; doi:10.3390/rel5030814
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
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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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Evangelicals’ Sanctification of Marriage through the Metaphor of Jesus as a Husband
Religions 2014, 5(3), 623-647; doi:10.3390/rel5030623
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
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Abstract
Researchers have examined how perceiving marriage as “sacred” or believing God is manifest in marriage is associated with marital functioning and satisfaction, but little is known about how biblical family metaphors (e.g., God is father) inform Christians’ interpretations of family relationships. Few [...] Read more.
Researchers have examined how perceiving marriage as “sacred” or believing God is manifest in marriage is associated with marital functioning and satisfaction, but little is known about how biblical family metaphors (e.g., God is father) inform Christians’ interpretations of family relationships. Few studies explore the perspective of individuals who believe in, interpret and apply these metaphors to their relationships. This study uses Hermeneutic Theory to examine how Evangelicals apply the metaphor of Jesus as husband and the church as bride to their intimate relationships and spirituality. Qualitative interviews with 15 Evangelicals explored the meaning, interpretations, and processes of marital relationships in light of the Christ-groom God image. Participants indicated many ways the metaphor was useful: value partners more; invest more in the relationship; strive to demonstrate love, patience, etc. toward partners; and guidance in relationship structuring. They discussed how their couple relationships opened positive and negative possibilities for relating to God. Gender hierarchy and implication that husbands are the “head” or “Christ” figure in marriage caused incongruence for some participants as did the difficulty of comparing a person or human relationship to a spiritual metaphor. Application, implications, and ideas for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Work-Family Conflict: The Effects of Religious Context on Married Women’s Participation in the Labor Force
Religions 2014, 5(3), 580-593; doi:10.3390/rel5030580
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 28 July 2014
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Abstract
Past work shows religion’s effect on women’s career decisions, particularly when these decisions involve work-family conflict. This study argues that the religious context of a geographic area also influences women’s solutions to work-family conflict through more or less pervasive normative expectations within [...] Read more.
Past work shows religion’s effect on women’s career decisions, particularly when these decisions involve work-family conflict. This study argues that the religious context of a geographic area also influences women’s solutions to work-family conflict through more or less pervasive normative expectations within the community regarding women’s roles and responsibilities to the family. We use the American Community Survey linked with community-level religious proportions to test the relationship between religious contexts and women’s participation in the labor force in the contiguous United States–2054 census geographic areas. Using spatial analysis, we find that community religious concentration is related to the proportion of women who choose not to work. Communities with a higher proportion of the population belonging to conservative religious traditions also have a greater proportion of married women choosing not to work outside the home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Religion and Family Life: An Overview of Current Research and Suggestions for Future Research
Religions 2014, 5(2), 402-421; doi:10.3390/rel5020402
Received: 3 December 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (122 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary aim of this paper is to offer an overview of current research into the relationship between religion and family life and to offer suggestions for future research. In order to do this, the paper distinguishes between research in which religion [...] Read more.
The primary aim of this paper is to offer an overview of current research into the relationship between religion and family life and to offer suggestions for future research. In order to do this, the paper distinguishes between research in which religion is a dependent variable, labelled as socialization research, and research in which religion is an independent variable, referred to as research into family functioning. With regard to these areas of research, the paper, first, offers an overview of the most important insights existing research has generated thus far, after which some important shortcomings are identified and suggestions for future research are proposed. Subsequently, the paper offers some reflections on methodology and points out some strengths and weaknesses of existing research and offers methodological advice for future research. The paper closes by discussing how research into the relationship between religion and family life may contribute to an overall understanding of religion as such. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Dyadic Adjustment and Spiritual Activities in Parents of Children with Cystic Fibrosis
Religions 2014, 5(2), 385-401; doi:10.3390/rel5020385
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
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Abstract
Children’s diseases can negatively impact marital adjustment and contribute to poorer child health outcomes. To cope with increased marital stress and childhood diseases severity, many people turn to spirituality. While most studies show a positive relationship between spirituality and marital adjustment, spirituality [...] Read more.
Children’s diseases can negatively impact marital adjustment and contribute to poorer child health outcomes. To cope with increased marital stress and childhood diseases severity, many people turn to spirituality. While most studies show a positive relationship between spirituality and marital adjustment, spirituality has typically been measured only in terms of individual behaviors. Using the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) and Daily Phone Diary data from a sample of 126 parents of children with cystic fibrosis as a context for increased marital stress, spiritual behavior of mother-father dyads and of whole families were used as predictors of marital adjustment. Frequency and duration of individual, dyadic and familial spiritual activities correlated positively with dyadic adjustment. Significant differences in spiritual activities existed between couples with marital adjustment scores above and below the cutoff for distress. The only significant factors in regressions of spiritual activities on marital adjustment scores were number of pulmonary exacerbations and parent age. Higher odds of maintaining a marital adjustment score greater than 100 were significantly associated with spending approximately twelve minutes per day in individual, but not conjugal or familial, spiritual activities. The Daily Phone Diary is a feasible tool to study conjugal and familial activities and their relationships with beliefs and attitudes, including spirituality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality, and Family Life)

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