Special Issue "Religion and the Stigma of Suicide"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 August 2021).
Interests: the relationship of mental illness and substance use stigma with spirituality and religion, especially Christianity; effects of religious coping and resources on posttraumatic outcomes and suicide
Globally, nearly 800,000 individuals die of suicide annually, 79% of which are from lower and middle-income countries (WHO, 2019). Religious communities and faith leaders play an important protective role in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention (National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: Faith Communities Task Force, 2019). Religious beliefs underlie moral objections to suicide (Linehan, Goodstein, Nielsen, & Chiles, 1983) and views of suicide acceptability (Stack & Kposowa, 2011), both of which seem to function as a protective factor for suicide prevention.
However, religious beliefs and practices have also contributed to the stigmatizing of suicide loss survivors and suicide attempt survivors. As recently as the 18th century in Western countries, the corpses of suicide decedents were regularly desecrated in various abject manners. The Christian church, despite being the majority religion, did little to stop these practices (Williams, 2001) and may have explicitly and implicitly condoned such actions (Vandekerckhove, 2000). Most of these practices have come to an end but stigma towards suicide remains present within religious organizations nonetheless (Allen-Ervin, 2017; Gearing & Alonzo, 2018; Gearing & Lizardi, 2009). However, the relationship of religiousness with stigma towards suicide is complex, as stigma towards those who have experienced suicidal ideation has been found to be greater among those with secular education than religious education in Turkey (Eskin, 2004).
This Special Issue will highlight research on the contemporary relationship of religiousness and stigma from an empirical and theoretical lens. The focus of this issue will be detailing the nature of religious stigmatization of suicide, as well as exploring resources within various religions for alleviating that stigma. The scope of the review will include:
- Papers that provide a literature review of constructs related to stigma towards suicide, incorporating new and existing theories and frameworks to propose potential relationships with elements of religious beliefs and practices.
- Papers that investigate the associations between religious beliefs and practices, both unique to and general across religious traditions, with stigma towards suicide using quantitative and qualitative methods.
- Papers that investigate resources within religious traditions that can be utilized for reducing the stigma of suicide using quantitative, qualitative, or other rigorous methodology.
- Experimental and quasi-experimental studies on reducing stigma of suicide within a religious community.
- Theoretical and empirical papers that critique existing notions of stigma towards suicide from an emic perspective.
The purpose of this Special Issue is to outline the relationship between religiousness and stigma towards suicide in order to eventually guide efforts for ameliorating the negative effects of stigma towards suicide within religious communities.
Dr. Curtis Lehmann
Manuscript Submission Information
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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a double-blind 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 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Stigma of suicide
- Religious beliefs and practices
- Suicide prevention
- Stigma reduction approaches