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Religions, Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2016) – 13 articles

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Article
The Intersectionality of Religion and Social Welfare: Historical Development of Richmond’s Nonprofit Health and Human Services
Religions 2016, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010013 - 21 Jan 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2648
Abstract
Studying the intersectionality of religion and social welfare in Richmond, Virginia requires going back to the beginning of the Virginia colony. In the crucible of the colony, the religious and social welfare functions of a parish community were one and the same. However, [...] Read more.
Studying the intersectionality of religion and social welfare in Richmond, Virginia requires going back to the beginning of the Virginia colony. In the crucible of the colony, the religious and social welfare functions of a parish community were one and the same. However, after the Revolutionary War it was just a matter of time before the entire system was disassembled. The process of disentanglement of church and state created an identity crisis in Virginia. In the late 1700s, the emergence of charitable efforts began with leading men of Richmond who tried to address the temporary needs of travelers, followed by groups of women who discovered new roles they could play through charitable works. The new “system” became a potpourri of societies, congregations, associations, and county units attempting to provide for the social welfare of the populous. The intersectionality of religion and social welfare continued as a diverse landscape of small and large organizations and congregations performing the social welfare functions in Richmond and throughout the Commonwealth emerged. Today, to attempt to separate the church from the state in this conglomerate of agencies is neither possible nor desirable. However, understanding its’ historical complexity is essential if one is to engage in contemporary practice within Richmond’s health and human service system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Welfare and Social Service Provision: Common Ground)
Editorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Religions in 2015
Religions 2016, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010012 - 21 Jan 2016
Viewed by 1307
Abstract
The editors of Religions would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Review
The Effect of Prayer on Patients’ Health: Systematic Literature Review
Religions 2016, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010011 - 21 Jan 2016
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6631
Abstract
There is increasing interest regarding prayer in healthcare. Prayer is an activity related to spirituality and religion. Positive outcomes have been identified regarding spirituality in health. This study aims to investigate the effects on patients’ health of using prayer. A systematic literature review [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest regarding prayer in healthcare. Prayer is an activity related to spirituality and religion. Positive outcomes have been identified regarding spirituality in health. This study aims to investigate the effects on patients’ health of using prayer. A systematic literature review was conducted in May 2015 and updated in November 2015. Electronic and international databases were searched and the inclusion criteria were based on PICOS: (Population) patients of any age and any clinical situation, (Intervention) all types of prayer, (Comparison) ordinary care, (Outcomes) any health change, (Study type) randomized clinical trials. Neither timeframe nor limitation in language were considered. A total of 92 papers were identified and 12 were included in the review. Prayer was considered a positive factor in seven studies, and several positive effects of prayer on health were identified: reducing the anxiety of mothers of children with cancer; reducing the level of concern of the participants who believe in a solution to their problem; and providing for the improved physical functioning of patients who believe in prayer. Prayer is a non-pharmacological intervention and resource, and should be included in the nursing holistic care aimed at patients’ well-being. Full article
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Article
Holistic Health Care and Spiritual Self-Presence
Religions 2016, 7(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010010 - 19 Jan 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3305
Abstract
In this paper, I present evidence of the developing interest in spirituality in healthcare and treat three questions it raises: (1) what makes a person and a life spiritual so that a strictly medical model of health and care won’t do?; (2) what [...] Read more.
In this paper, I present evidence of the developing interest in spirituality in healthcare and treat three questions it raises: (1) what makes a person and a life spiritual so that a strictly medical model of health and care won’t do?; (2) what is the scope of healthcare?; and (3) what makes care in healthcare ‘spiritual’ precisely? In addressing the first question I attend to the etymological roots of “spiritual” and articulate how the notion of “spiritual” in Pauline biblical texts is being retrieved today in spirituality studies and research but in a way, also, that does not attach it strictly to religious affiliation. In addressing the second question, I highlight the holistic meaning of healthcare by first attending to the etymological roots of health. I then show that adequate healthcare also requires reflection on the notion of the good and illustrate what I mean by interpreting a biblical narrative. In addressing the third question, I draw on lived experience to illustrate how care-providers may need enhanced religious literacy to read and respond to care-seekers irrespective of their own personal beliefs. However, I also argue that what makes care distinctively spiritual in the first instance has less to do with the subject matter of the care—the what of the care—and more to do with how carers act, with, that is, the self-presence of the carers. Full article
Opinion
The Politics of Clerical Sexual Abuse
Religions 2016, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010009 - 08 Jan 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3192
Abstract
This article examines the complex politics surrounding the Catholic Bishops’ responses to clerical sexual abuse in the United States from the first, public revelations of the scandal in Boston in 2002 to the present. It asks a compelling leadership question on three levels: [...] Read more.
This article examines the complex politics surrounding the Catholic Bishops’ responses to clerical sexual abuse in the United States from the first, public revelations of the scandal in Boston in 2002 to the present. It asks a compelling leadership question on three levels: how did the Bishops respond politically as individual diocesan leaders; as members of their canonical organization, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); and as appointed officials of the Vatican? This article argues that the members of the hierarchy implemented disparate and often conflicting religious and legal responses to clerical sexual abuse in their various roles. They did this by accepting misguided psychological advice, relying on traditional religious exemptions, attempting to implement confusing institutional policies, and usually mounting ineffective legal challenges to canon law in civil courts. These actions reflected hierarchical ignorance and arrogance as well as a political underestimation of the compelling state interest to protect the safety of children over religious concerns to insure the autonomy of the Church. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Bishops in US Politics)
Article
Sensing Hinduism: Lucian-Indian Funeral “Feast” as Glocalized Ritual1
Religions 2016, 7(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010008 - 06 Jan 2016
Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Migrant narratives of Indo-Caribbean religious practices in the smaller island states of the Caribbean are rare, and that Diaspora’s funerary traditions are even less explored. This scholarly lacuna is addressed here by using data from ethnographic research conducted in St. Lucia to examine [...] Read more.
Migrant narratives of Indo-Caribbean religious practices in the smaller island states of the Caribbean are rare, and that Diaspora’s funerary traditions are even less explored. This scholarly lacuna is addressed here by using data from ethnographic research conducted in St. Lucia to examine the funerary ritual of a Lucian-Indian “feast” through the multidisciplinary lens of glocalization. Specifically, we investigate the following: (a) ways that the diasporic identity of Lucian-Indians has been adapted and re-configured within a local-global nexus; (b) the extent to which there has been a local construction of a distinct socio-spatial identity among Lucian-Indians, one retaining “Hinduness” even as they assimilated into the larger St. Lucian society; and (c) whether glocal characteristics can be identified in the performance of a particular funeral feast. Following Roudometof, we posit that many aspects of a Lucian-Indian ethno-religious funerary ritual demonstrate indigenized and transnational glocalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glocal Religions)
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Article
Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics: A Gadamerian Approach to Interreligious Interpretation
Religions 2016, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010007 - 06 Jan 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2310
Abstract
This paper employs the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer as a tool to underpin the methodology of Comparative Theology. Acknowledging limitations in Gadamer’s framework, it argues these can either be overcome or bypassed in this context. The paper initially sets out Gadamer’s own understanding [...] Read more.
This paper employs the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer as a tool to underpin the methodology of Comparative Theology. Acknowledging limitations in Gadamer’s framework, it argues these can either be overcome or bypassed in this context. The paper initially sets out Gadamer’s own understanding of the relationship of his hermeneutics to theology and its reception within theology. It then outlines Francis Clooney’s Comparative Theology using others theologians as needed to supplement this, notably Paul Knitter and Michelle Voss Roberts. The third part shows how Comparative Theology’s methodologically can be grounded in principles coming from Gadamer’s hermeneutics which provide a philosophical rationale for the discipline, making particular use of the concept of translation. It makes reference to Marianne Moyaert’s deployment of Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutical model for interreligious understanding. Various directions for further research are suggested at the end of the paper. Full article
Article
The Catholic Bishops and the Rise of Evangelical Catholics
Religions 2016, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010006 - 06 Jan 2016
Viewed by 2589
Abstract
White Catholics are increasingly trending toward the Republican Party, both as voters and candidates. Many of these Republican-leaning Catholics are displaying a more outspoken, culture-war oriented form of Catholicism that has been dubbed Evangelical Catholicism. Through their forceful disciplining of pro-choice Catholics and [...] Read more.
White Catholics are increasingly trending toward the Republican Party, both as voters and candidates. Many of these Republican-leaning Catholics are displaying a more outspoken, culture-war oriented form of Catholicism that has been dubbed Evangelical Catholicism. Through their forceful disciplining of pro-choice Catholics and treatment of abortion in their quadrennial voting guides, as well as their emphasis on “religious liberty”, the U.S. bishops have played a major role in the rise of these Evangelical Catholics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Bishops in US Politics)
Article
Religion, Race/Ethnicity, and Norms of Intergenerational Assistance among Older Adults
Religions 2016, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010005 - 30 Dec 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Using data on adults ages 55 and over from the second wave of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH-2), this study models the main and interactive effects of religious involvement and race/ethnicity on four items of attitudes towards intergenerational assistance. Results [...] Read more.
Using data on adults ages 55 and over from the second wave of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH-2), this study models the main and interactive effects of religious involvement and race/ethnicity on four items of attitudes towards intergenerational assistance. Results indicate that African Americans and Hispanics tend to express stronger support for intergenerational assistance than non-Hispanic Whites. Conservative Protestants, Mormons, and Catholics are more likely than others to believe that adult children should offer co-residence to their aging parents. In addition, theological conservatism is positively associated with support for each type of intergenerational aid, and the net effect of theological conservatism is stronger for African Americans than for non-Hispanic Whites. However, religious attendance is statistically unrelated to norms of intergenerational assistance. It is concluded that religious factors are important in shaping norms of intergenerational support, particularly within minority communities. Full article
Article
“This Is Our Jerusalem”: Early American Evangelical Localizations of the Hebraic Republic
Religions 2016, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010004 - 28 Dec 2015
Viewed by 2410
Abstract
This paper examines how evangelical pastors applied Protestant notions of a Hebraic Republic for their parishioners as America transitioned from a colonial frontier to a new republic. As the American constitutions took shape during and after the Revolution, many evangelical pastors argued that [...] Read more.
This paper examines how evangelical pastors applied Protestant notions of a Hebraic Republic for their parishioners as America transitioned from a colonial frontier to a new republic. As the American constitutions took shape during and after the Revolution, many evangelical pastors argued that America emulated or was inspired by the Israelite polity as described by the Old Testament. America and its institutions thus became a reincarnated Hebraic Republic, a new “city on a hill”, and a new Jerusalem. Originally these pastors drew on a broader, global movement that was shaping republican attempts at reform in Europe, but as they localized the biblical model to their own particular experiences, they brought new meaning to it and exported the transformed model back out to the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glocal Religions)
Article
The Spirit of Logotherapy
Religions 2016, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010003 - 25 Dec 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3634
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to adduce the meaning of Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy and existential analysis—the spirit of logotherapy—in the two-fold sense of its core teachings, as well as its emphasis on the spiritual dimension of the human person. Firstly, [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to adduce the meaning of Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy and existential analysis—the spirit of logotherapy—in the two-fold sense of its core teachings, as well as its emphasis on the spiritual dimension of the human person. Firstly, I situate Frankl’s tri-dimensional ontology—his philosophical anthropology—within a Platonic perspective, asserting that it was Plato who first gave us a picture and model of mental health which he based on the harmony of the disparate parts of the personality—the aim to become One instead of Many, which finds a modern parallel in Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy, which likewise stresses the importance of inner wholeness (an anthropological oneness) despite our ontological differences. Classical Greek philosophers all pointed to the Logos as source of order—to the horizon of meaning-potentials, so I visit the various understandings of this term from the pre-Socratics to Frankl, albeit briefly, to avoid semantic confusion in what is to follow. I then discuss in some detail the exact meaning that logos/spirit has in Frankl’s philosophical conceptualisations. Disorders of logos may be seen in various psychopathologies and pnemopathologies which I go on to consider, highlighting the differences between various terms that are commonly left unclarified. Next, I adumbrate the differences between psychotherapy and logotherapy, which ultimately revolves around the difference between instincts and spirit before demarcating the boundaries between religion (as salvation) and logotherapy (as sanity). The question I pose next is: what exactly constitutes the spiritual in logotherapy, as in life? An example is given to concretise the conceptual considerations previously elucidated before drawing on another distinction, that between “ultimate meaning” and “the meaning of the moment”. The paper concludes with a brief excursus into the work of Ken Wilber by way of enabling us to appreciate and better understand the monumental significance of Frankl’s contribution to the field of transpersonal studies in relation to his refusal to collapse, confuse or conflate the higher dimensions of the person into lower ones. Full article
Article
Empire, Nationalism and the Jewish Question: Victor Adler and Otto Bauer
Religions 2016, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010002 - 24 Dec 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
This paper uses the life and thought of two important figures in the history of Austrian socialism—Victor Adler and Otto Bauer—as a prism through which to examine the complex relationship between German nationalism, the Jewish Question and pro-Habsburgism among the early leadership of [...] Read more.
This paper uses the life and thought of two important figures in the history of Austrian socialism—Victor Adler and Otto Bauer—as a prism through which to examine the complex relationship between German nationalism, the Jewish Question and pro-Habsburgism among the early leadership of the Austrian Social Democratic Party. Full article
Editorial
Double Blind Peer-Review in Religions
Religions 2016, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010001 - 23 Dec 2015
Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Pre-publication peer-review forms the basis for how scholarly journals assess whether an article is suitable for publication. [...] Full article
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