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Religions, Volume 7, Issue 5 (May 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Pressing Metal, Pressing Politics: Papal Annual Medals, 1605–1700
Religions 2016, 7(5), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050060 - 20 May 2016
Viewed by 1489
Abstract
This article surveys images depicted on the reverses of papal annual medals in the seventeenth century, beginning in 1605 under Paul V (r. 1605–21) with the first confirmed annual medal, and ending in 1700 at the conclusion of the papacy of Innocent XII [...] Read more.
This article surveys images depicted on the reverses of papal annual medals in the seventeenth century, beginning in 1605 under Paul V (r. 1605–21) with the first confirmed annual medal, and ending in 1700 at the conclusion of the papacy of Innocent XII (r. 1691–1700), a reign that marked a distinct change in papal politics in advance of the eighteenth century. The article mines a wealth of numismatics images and places it within a narrative of seventeenth-century papal politics. In the ninety-six years under consideration, ten popes issued ninety-four annual medals (sede vacante produced generic annual medals in 1667 and 1691). Annual medals are a unique iteration of papal commemorative medals and they celebrate an important papal achievement from the preceding year. The production of annual medals was an exercise in identity creation, undertaken to advance the image of the pope as an aristocratic prince in three specific roles: as builder, warrior, and impresario. The timeliness of the medals makes them valuable sources to gauge the perceived success of the papacy on an annual basis and to chart the political course plotted by popes through the seventeenth century. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Leo Tolstoy’s Anticlericalism in Its Context and Beyond: A Case against Churches and Clerics, Religious and Secular
Religions 2016, 7(5), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050059 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4525
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Research Note: College Students’ Attitudes toward Christianity in Xi’an, China
Religions 2016, 7(5), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050058 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Atheism is the mainstream belief system in contemporary China. In recent years, a growing number of Chinese have converted to different religions, particularly Christianity. In this study, we conducted a survey in the region of Xi’an to investigate the following three questions: How [...] Read more.
Atheism is the mainstream belief system in contemporary China. In recent years, a growing number of Chinese have converted to different religions, particularly Christianity. In this study, we conducted a survey in the region of Xi’an to investigate the following three questions: How common is Christianity among college students in Xi’an? How many of them have converted to the Christian faith? How do they gain their knowledge of Christianity? It is a popular notion in China that many college students have, in recent times, converted to Christianity. However, our survey results do not provide support for this. While many students encounter Christian faith on university campuses, especially through organizations such as The Fellowship, students in this survey report low religious affiliation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth, Emerging Adults, Faith, and Giving) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Small Faith-Related Organizations as Partners in Local Social Service Networks
Religions 2016, 7(5), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050057 - 20 May 2016
Viewed by 1266
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The New Indices of Religious Orientation Revised (NIROR): A Study among Canadian Adolescents Attending a Baptist Youth Mission and Service Event
Religions 2016, 7(5), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050056 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1357
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Congregations and Social Services: An Update from the Third Wave of the National Congregations Study
Religions 2016, 7(5), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050055 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2265
Abstract
Congregations and other religious organizations are an important part of the social welfare system in the United States. This article uses data from the 2012 National Congregations Study to describe key features of congregational involvement in social service programs and projects. Most congregations [...] Read more.
Congregations and other religious organizations are an important part of the social welfare system in the United States. This article uses data from the 2012 National Congregations Study to describe key features of congregational involvement in social service programs and projects. Most congregations (83%), containing 92% of religious service attendees, engage in some social or human service activities intended to help people outside of their congregation. These programs are primarily oriented to food, health, clothing, and housing provision, with less involvement in some of the more intense and long-term interventions such as drug abuse recovery, prison programs, or immigrant services. The median congregation involved in social services spent $1500 per year directly on these programs, and 17% had a staff member who worked on them at least a quarter of the time. Fewer than 2% of congregations received any government financial support of their social service programs and projects within the past year; only 5% had applied for such funding. The typical, and probably most important, way in which congregations pursue social service activity is by providing small groups of volunteers to engage in well-defined and bounded tasks on a periodic basis, most often in collaboration with other congregations and community organizations. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spirituality Self-Care Practices as a Mediator between Quality of Life and Depression
Religions 2016, 7(5), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050054 - 11 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop a midrange theory, building on Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory (SCDNT) to include constructs of religion, spirituality, and spiritual self‑care practices. This mid-range theory, White’s theory of spirituality and spiritual self-care (WTSSSC), was developed and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop a midrange theory, building on Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory (SCDNT) to include constructs of religion, spirituality, and spiritual self‑care practices. This mid-range theory, White’s theory of spirituality and spiritual self-care (WTSSSC), was developed and tested as part of a larger study of African American patients with heart failure (HF). The aim of the study was to determine if spiritual self-care practices were mediating the relationship between depression and quality of life for African Americans diagnosed with heart failure. Participants in this study included 142 African Americans diagnosed with HF who were recruited at the clinic where they were being treated. Four instruments were used to measure spiritual self-care practices (White’s Spiritual Self-Care Practice Scale (WSPSCPC)), depression symptomology (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)), quality of life (World Health Organization QOL (WHOQOL-Bref)), and personal characteristics. Results of the analysis were statistically significant, indicating that spirituality self-care practices were mediating the relationship between depression and quality of life for African American individuals diagnosed with HF. As the population ages and chronic illness becomes more common, nurses need to promote the use of spirituality self-care practices to help patients maintain their well-being. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
History, Culture and Traditions: The Silent Spaces in the Study of Spirituality at the End of Life
Religions 2016, 7(5), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050053 - 09 May 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
Recent increase in the number of studies on spirituality manifests growing recognition of the importance of spirituality, as well as mounting interest in studying spirituality in healthcare. Most studies on spirituality in end of life care focus on identifying specific features of spirituality [...] Read more.
Recent increase in the number of studies on spirituality manifests growing recognition of the importance of spirituality, as well as mounting interest in studying spirituality in healthcare. Most studies on spirituality in end of life care focus on identifying specific features of spirituality and often represent an individualistic understanding of spirituality. They seldom engage in a historical–cultural exploration of the contextual meanings of those features of spirituality. This paper aims to demonstrate the absence of contextual factors in studying spirituality at the end of life and to highlight the growing recognition of the importance of history, culture and traditions as resources to enrich our understanding of spirituality. An exploration of the concept of spirituality, an overview of the trajectory of the study of spirituality and a review of existing methodological stances reveal the silent space in current approaches to understanding spirituality at the end of life. Recognition of the importance of these contextual factors in understanding spirituality is growing, which is yet to influence the conceptualization and the conduct of spirituality research. Contextual understandings of spirituality that incorporate insights from the history, culture and traditions of specific contexts can inform effective means for providing spiritual support in clinical practice. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Social Work Field Education in and with Congregations and Religiously-Affiliated Organizations in a Christian Context
Religions 2016, 7(5), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050052 - 09 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1567
Abstract
Recent attention to human spirituality, research on congregationally-related practice, and growth in employment within religiously-based organizations energize the creation of educational initiatives to prepare future professionals for competent social work practice within these settings. Internship experiences with congregations and religiously-affiliated organizations (RAOs) play [...] Read more.
Recent attention to human spirituality, research on congregationally-related practice, and growth in employment within religiously-based organizations energize the creation of educational initiatives to prepare future professionals for competent social work practice within these settings. Internship experiences with congregations and religiously-affiliated organizations (RAOs) play a pivotal role in delivering the competencies required by the social work accreditation body. Conceptual tools are needed for understanding congregationally-related practice, for navigating potential conflict between faith and professional practice, and for delivering effective internship experiences. This article, written from the faculty’s perspective of a Christian, religiously affiliated social work degree program, offers a framework for conceptualizing social work with congregations and RAOs and a beginning discussion for sorting out dilemmas in the integration of faith and practice in these settings. Two models, individual placement and rotational model placement, for congregationally-related internship experiences are presented and evaluated. Recommendations for enriched internship learning and future research are offered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trends in Addressing Social Needs: A Longitudinal Study of Congregation-Based Service Provision and Political Participation
Religions 2016, 7(5), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050051 - 07 May 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2035
Abstract
When congregations seek to address social needs, they often pursue this goal through acts of service and political engagement. Over the past three decades, a tremendous amount of research has been dedicated to analyzing congregation-based service provision and political participation. However, little is [...] Read more.
When congregations seek to address social needs, they often pursue this goal through acts of service and political engagement. Over the past three decades, a tremendous amount of research has been dedicated to analyzing congregation-based service provision and political participation. However, little is known about how congregations’ involvement in these arenas has changed during this period. To help fill this gap, this study analyzes three waves of data from a national survey of congregations to assess how congregations’ participation patterns in service-related and political activities have been changing since the 1990s. It also examines trends among subpopulations of congregations grouped by their religious tradition, ethnoracial composition, and ideological orientation. Overall, this study finds that among most types of congregations, the percentage participating in service-related activities is substantial and increasing, while the percentage participating in political activities is less substantial and decreasing. This decline in political participation has implications for the role congregations play in addressing social needs. Relieving immediate needs through service provision without also pursuing long-term solutions through political participation can limit congregations’ ability to comprehensively address social needs. Among the few types of congregations that have high and/or increasing participation rates in both service-related and political activities are Catholic, predominantly Hispanic, and politically liberal congregations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dual Role a Buddhist Monk Played in the American South: The Balance between Heritage and Citizenship in the Refugee Community
Religions 2016, 7(5), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050050 - 07 May 2016
Viewed by 1657
Abstract
Buddhist Monks in Vietnam struggle with cultural preservation differently from a monk in the U.S. where the forces of acculturation for new arrivals, often refugees, are extraordinarily overwhelming. The author provides a case study examining how Buddhist leaders engage in cultural preservation and [...] Read more.
Buddhist Monks in Vietnam struggle with cultural preservation differently from a monk in the U.S. where the forces of acculturation for new arrivals, often refugees, are extraordinarily overwhelming. The author provides a case study examining how Buddhist leaders engage in cultural preservation and community building in the American South. Fusing ideas of Engaged Buddhism and community building, the author will demonstrate how a Buddhist monk is able to navigate the broader American culture and assist Vietnamese immigrants and refugees to acculturate, while maintaining their own cultural heritage, beliefs and religious traditions; ultimately building a viable and sustainable Buddhist community that contributes greatly to its new host community. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Transforming Adverse Cognition on the Path of Bhakti: Rule-Based Devotion, “My-Ness,” and the Existential Condition of Bondage
Religions 2016, 7(5), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050049 - 06 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Early Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava theologians developed a unique path of Hindu devotion during the 16th century through which an aspirant cultivates a rapturous form of selfless love (premā) for Kṛṣṇa, who is recognized as the supreme and personal deity. In the course [...] Read more.
Early Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava theologians developed a unique path of Hindu devotion during the 16th century through which an aspirant cultivates a rapturous form of selfless love (premā) for Kṛṣṇa, who is recognized as the supreme and personal deity. In the course and consequence of cultivating this selfless love, the recommended practices of devotion are claimed to free one from the basic existential condition of bondage that is of concern for a wide range of South Asian religious and philosophical traditions. One of the principle cognitive tendencies characterizing this condition is to have thoughts and feelings of possessiveness over objects of the world, or what is referred to as the state of “my-ness” (mamatā), e.g., my home, my children, or my wealth. Using the therapeutic model of schema therapy as a heuristic analogue, this article explores the relationship between recommended practices of rule-based devotion (vaidhi-bhakti) and the modulation of thoughts and feelings of possessiveness towards mundane objects. I argue that such practices function as learning strategies that can systematically rework and modulate how one relates to and responds to these objects in theologically desirable ways. I conclude by suggesting that connectionist theories of cognition and learning may offer a promising explanatory framework for understanding the dynamics of this kind of relationship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Institutional and Status Analysis of Youth Ministry1 in the Archdiocese of Detroit
Religions 2016, 7(5), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050048 - 06 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1312
Abstract
This study finds that a weak institutional infrastructure of youth and young adult (YYA) ministry exists in the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD). This helps to explain why there is a disconnect between the Archdiocese proclaiming YYA ministry as a top priority since [...] Read more.
This study finds that a weak institutional infrastructure of youth and young adult (YYA) ministry exists in the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD). This helps to explain why there is a disconnect between the Archdiocese proclaiming YYA ministry as a top priority since 1995 and youth ministers self-reporting that they feel like second-class citizens. Moreover, this disconnect is occurring in an increasingly social context in which the current generations of young Catholics are participating less in their faith than previous generations. Interviews with 44 youth ministers and 12 pastors reveal details of this disconnect between archdiocesan policy which states YYA ministry is a top priority and the practices of the archdiocese which indicate otherwise. Youth ministers are marginalized workers who feel insecure about their employment, causing many to obtain second jobs or routinely search for better employment. The sociology of organization literature, particularly the concepts of decoupling and social status are discussed to help explain this disconnect. Data are interpreted and the conclusions made that ecclesial officials take youth ministry for granted and that a weak institutional infrastructure of youth ministry continues in the AOD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth, Emerging Adults, Faith, and Giving) Printed Edition available
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Climate Change, Politics and Religion: Australian Churchgoers’ Beliefs about Climate Change
Religions 2016, 7(5), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050047 - 05 May 2016
Viewed by 1826
Abstract
A growing literature has sought to understand the relationships between religion, politics and views about climate change and climate change policy in the United States. However, little comparative research has been conducted in other countries. This study draws on data from the 2011 [...] Read more.
A growing literature has sought to understand the relationships between religion, politics and views about climate change and climate change policy in the United States. However, little comparative research has been conducted in other countries. This study draws on data from the 2011 Australian National Church Life Survey to examine the beliefs of Australian churchgoers from some 20 denominations about climate change—whether or not it is real and whether it is caused by humans—and political factors that explain variation in these beliefs. Pentecostals, Baptist and Churches of Christ churchgoers, and people from the smallest Protestant denominations were less likely than other churchgoers to believe in anthropogenic climate change, and voting and hierarchical and individualistic views about society predicted beliefs. There was some evidence that these views function differently in relation to climate change beliefs depending on churchgoers’ degree of opposition to gay rights. These findings are of interest not only for the sake of international comparisons, but also in a context where Australia plays a role in international climate change politics that is disproportionate to its small population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Open AccessArticle
Impact of Religious Affiliation on Ethical Values of Spanish Environmental Activists
Religions 2016, 7(5), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050046 - 04 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
We analyzed the impact of religious affiliation on the ethical and environmental values of Spanish environmental activists, based on an internet survey and a working seminar held with representatives of major environmental non-government organizations (ENGO) of Spain. Respondents’ religious affiliations were significantly different [...] Read more.
We analyzed the impact of religious affiliation on the ethical and environmental values of Spanish environmental activists, based on an internet survey and a working seminar held with representatives of major environmental non-government organizations (ENGO) of Spain. Respondents’ religious affiliations were significantly different compared with those of Spanish society in general, with a much higher proportion of Buddhists, agnostics and atheists and a lower proportion of Catholics. Strict environmental values of ENGOs activists did not show significant differences between the religious groups, which imply that religious beliefs did not impact actual environmental values. However, they did have a significant influence on the activists’ opinions on other bioethical issues. We found that Catholics and believers of other religions were more in favor than agnostics and atheists of introducing ethical limits on abortion, euthanasia or human embryo manipulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selecting the Best Version of SHALOM to Assess Spiritual Well-Being
Religions 2016, 7(5), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050045 - 30 Apr 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
This paper extends the reporting of contemporary use of the Spiritual Health and Life-Orientation Measure (SHALOM), which provides flexibility to researchers, enabling them to choose the version of the instrument that best suits the cohort under investigation. SHALOM was built on a solid [...] Read more.
This paper extends the reporting of contemporary use of the Spiritual Health and Life-Orientation Measure (SHALOM), which provides flexibility to researchers, enabling them to choose the version of the instrument that best suits the cohort under investigation. SHALOM was built on a solid theoretical foundation, provided by the Four Domains Model of Spiritual Health/Well-Being. It comprises 20 items that assess spiritual well-being, as reflected in the quality of relationships that each person has with themselves, others, the environment, and/or with God. Summary results are reported from 30 recent studies. SHALOM provides a unique form of assessment that is statistically stronger than just assessing lived experiences, in that spiritual harmony/dissonance is studied by comparing each person’s “lived experiences” with her/his “ideals” for spiritual well-being. SHALOM has been sought for use with hundreds of studies in 29 languages, in education, healthcare and wider community. A generic form of SHALOM was developed to expand the Transcendental domain to include more than God. However, recent studies have shown that relating with God is most important for spiritual well-being. The best version of SHALOM to assess spiritual well-being depends on the needs of the clients/participants and the project goals of the researcher. This will involve a selection between the original form of Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire-SHALOM for comparison with other measures and investigation of characteristics influencing spiritual well-being; or the dissonance method for spiritual care; and either the original or the generic version of SHALOM for use with non-religious/secular participants. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Validity and Reliability of a Revised Scale of Attitude towards Buddhism (TSAB-R)
Religions 2016, 7(5), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050044 - 28 Apr 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
The empirical properties of a revised 24-item instrument called the Thanissaro Scale of Attitude towards Buddhism (TSAB-R) designed to measure Buddhist affective religiosity are described. The instrument was tested on adolescents and teenagers in the UK. Discriminant validity of the instrument was found [...] Read more.
The empirical properties of a revised 24-item instrument called the Thanissaro Scale of Attitude towards Buddhism (TSAB-R) designed to measure Buddhist affective religiosity are described. The instrument was tested on adolescents and teenagers in the UK. Discriminant validity of the instrument was found satisfactory in relation to Buddhist affiliation and content validity in relation to religious involvement with temple attendance, scripture reading, meditation, having had a religious or spiritual experience and religious style. Unlike Christians, for Buddhists, affective religiosity was found to vary independently from age and sex. The differential between heritage and convert religious style of Buddhism was linked to the perceived affective religiosity of the Buddhist features of the home shrine and bowing to parents. Factor analysis revealed two subscales within the instrument for intellectual and affective components. With confirmation of the validity and reliability of the revised scale, the instrument is commended for measurement of Buddhist affective religiosity with adults and children down to the age of 13 years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dardenne Brothers and the Invisible Ethical Drama: Faith without Faith
Religions 2016, 7(5), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050043 - 26 Apr 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1628
Abstract
The cinema of the Dardenne brothers represents a new kind of cinema, one that challenges a number of our conventional ways of thinking about the distinction between religion and secularism, belief and unbelief. Their films explore the intricacies of spiritual and ethical transformations [...] Read more.
The cinema of the Dardenne brothers represents a new kind of cinema, one that challenges a number of our conventional ways of thinking about the distinction between religion and secularism, belief and unbelief. Their films explore the intricacies of spiritual and ethical transformations as they are experienced within embodied, material life. These features of their cinema will be examined primarily through the lens of Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophy of the imbrication of the drama of existence and the ethical intrigue of self and Other. The work of the Dardenne brothers can be understood as an attempt to express what I describe as a “faith without faith”—a recognition of the absolute centrality of belief for the development of a responsible subject but in the absence of a traditional faith in a personal deity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Film and Lived Theology)
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Open AccessArticle
Biobehavioral Examination of Religious Coping, Psychosocial Factors, and Executive Function in Homebound Older Adults
Religions 2016, 7(5), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050042 - 26 Apr 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
Introduction: Although many homebound older adults cope well using various resources, including religious coping strategies, some experience prolonged and unresolved psychosocial distress resulting in biological disruptions, such as hypercortisolism and increased inflammation, which are suggested mechanisms of decreased executive function. Purpose: To examine [...] Read more.
Introduction: Although many homebound older adults cope well using various resources, including religious coping strategies, some experience prolonged and unresolved psychosocial distress resulting in biological disruptions, such as hypercortisolism and increased inflammation, which are suggested mechanisms of decreased executive function. Purpose: To examine relationships of religious coping, psychosocial factors (stress, depression, loneliness), salivary biomarkers (cortisol, C-reactive protein (CRP), Interleukin-1β), and executive function. Methods: Data were collected cross-sectionally from 88 older adults (mean age 75.3). Religious coping, stress, depression, loneliness, and cognitive function were measured with standardized instruments, and saliva samples were collected for salivary cortisol, CRP, and IL-1β. Results: Negative religious coping significantly and positively correlated with stress, depression, and loneliness (r = 0.46, r = 0.21, r = 0.47, all p < 0.05); positive religious coping significantly and negatively correlated with depression and loneliness (r = −0.29, r = −0.23, both p < 0.05); and greater loneliness significantly predicted greater CRP (p < 0.05). For executive function, IL-1β showed a significant positive correlation (r = 0.23, p = < 0.05). Discussion: Our findings fill gaps related to biobehavioral interactions of religious coping and cognitive health in the aging population. Future research should include additional psychosocial and biobehavioral variables in larger samples of diverse and vulnerable populations. Collective findings may be able to identify particularly vulnerable subgroups of population, ultimately with tailored interventions to prevent cognitive decline. Full article
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