Religions2015, 6(3), 930-947; doi:10.3390/rel6030930 (registering DOI) - published 3 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present study examined the perception of contemporary German psychiatric staff (i.e., psychiatrists, psychotherapists and nurses) regarding their approach towards religious/spiritual issues in their clinical practice, and how clinical chaplains perceive attitudes and behaviors towards religiosity/spirituality of other psychiatric staff members. To answer these questions, two separate studies were conducted to include psychiatric staff and clinical chaplains. Curlin et al.’s questionnaire on Religion and Spirituality in Medicine: Physicians’ Perspectives was the main instrument used for both studies. According to the self-assessment of psychiatric staff members, most contemporary German psychiatric staff members are prepared and open to dealing with religiosity/spirituality in therapeutic settings. To some extent, clinical chaplains agreed with this finding, but their overall perception significantly differs from the staff’s own self-rating. Our results suggest that it may be helpful for psychiatric staff members and clinical chaplains to exchange their views on patients regarding religious/spiritual issues in therapeutic settings, and to reflect on how to apply such findings to clinical practice.
Religions2015, 6(3), 912-929; doi:10.3390/rel6030912 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aims of the research presented here are as follows: (a) to define the degree of perceived meaning in life and the level of sensitivity of conscience in groups of students with a high (H) and low (L) level of experience of God’s absence; and (b) to show the relationship between perceived meaning in life and sensitivity of conscience in groups of students with a high (H) and low (L) level of experience of God’s absence. The results show that students with a high level of experience of God’s absence appear to have a high level of both perceived meaning in life and sensitivity of conscience with respect to both themselves and others. Moreover, in a group of students with a high level of experience of God’s absence, meaning in life is found to be strongly related, along with sensitivity of conscience, to both their moral values and their surroundings.
Religions2015, 6(3), 891-911; doi:10.3390/rel6030891 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This analysis of Chinese and Japanese American young adults, based on the Pew Research Center 2012 Asian American Survey, examines the religious nones of these ethnic groups. Rather than focusing on their beliefs and belonging to religious denominations, it highlights their spiritual practices and ethical relations using an Asian-centric liyi (ritual and righteousness) discourse. Despite being religious nones, these groups have high rates of ancestor veneration and participation in ethnic religious festivals, as well as strong familial and reciprocal obligations. These findings indicate that, similar to other American Millennials, these groups may be better understood by how they do religion than in what they believe.
Religions2015, 6(3), 875-890; doi:10.3390/rel6030875 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Art plays a significant role in Iris Murdoch’s moral philosophy, a major part of which may be interpreted as a proposal for the revision of religious belief. In this paper, I identify within Murdoch’s philosophical writings five distinct but related ways in which great art can assist moral/religious belief and practice: art can reveal to us “the world as we were never able so clearly to see it before”; this revelatory capacity provides us with evidence for the existence of the Good, a metaphor for a transcendent reality of which God was also a symbol; art is a “hall of reflection” in which “everything under the sun can be examined and considered”; art provides us with an analogue for the way in which we should try to perceive our world; and art enables us to transcend our selfish concerns. I consider three possible objections: that Murdoch’s theory is not applicable to all forms of art; that the meaning of works of art is often ambiguous; and that there is disagreement about what constitutes a great work of art. I argue that none of these objections are decisive, and that all forms of art have at least the potential to furnish us with important tools for developing the insight required to live a moral/religious life.
Religions2015, 6(3), 860-874; doi:10.3390/rel6030860 - published 27 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article seeks to demonstrate the existence of a relationship between instrumental values and religious experience—in this instance, the experiences of God’s presence and of God’s absence in the lives of Polish students of pedagogy and of philosophy. The methods applied involved making use of the Scale of Religious Experience (SRE) of Głaz and the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS). The study was conducted in Krakow. The subjects included male students of pedagogy and of philosophy. It emerges that, compared to philosophy students, pedagogy students seem to have a higher level of religious experience of God’s presence and also prefer different instrumental values. There is a significant relationship between instrumental values and religious experience of God’s presence and God’s absence in the lives of students of pedagogy and of philosophy.
Religions2015, 6(3), 852-859; doi:10.3390/rel6030852 - published 23 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: How can one enter the mindset of religious activists whose worldview and values are different from one’s own? This is the challenge for analyzing contemporary violent religious movements and individuals around the world. This essay suggests guidelines, based on the author’s interview experience, for entering religious minds through informative encounters, relational knowledge, bracketing assumptions, and constructing a view of the whole.