Special Issue "Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Karolina Krysinska, MA, PhD

1 School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
2 Clinical Psychology, University of Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: risk and protective factors in suicide; suicide prevention; postvention; psychology of religion; dementia
Guest Editor
Mr. Karl Andriessen, MSuicidology, BSW

1 School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
2 Clinical Psychology, KU Leuven University of Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: suicide prevention; suicide bereavement; postvention; risk and protective factors in suicide

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research and clinical practice indicate that religion and spirituality can play an important role in the suicidal process. Although religion and spirituality are often considered to be protective factors against suicidal ideation and behaviour, and significant reasons for living, in some circumstances they can contribute to suicide risk. The relationship between secular and religious worldviews and suicide is quite complex, and calls for an in-depth interdisciplinary cross-cultural exploration.

Over the decades many research papers, book chapters and conference presentation have been devoted to “Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality”. We hope that this special issue of Religions will become a meeting place for experts in suicidology, psychology, sociology and history of religion worldwide, and a valuable resource for those who would like to get acquainted with the recent theory and practice.

We aim to explore how different aspect of religion and spirituality can protect against suicide, and when and how secular and religious worldview can increase suicide risk on the individual and societal/cultural level, across the life-span. We would like to look at the contribution of religion and spirituality to suicide prevention and treatment of at-risk individuals, as well as to the process of coping with loss after a suicide death.

Please note that invited authors do not have to pay the publication fee.

Dr. Karolina Krysinska, MA, PhD
Mr. Karl Andriessen, MSuicidology, BSW
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. 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.

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • protective factors
  • religion
  • risk factors
  • spirituality
  • suicidal behavior
  • suicide bereavement
  • suicide prevention

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Qualitative Examination of Continuing Bonds through Spiritual Experiences in Individuals Bereaved by Suicide
Religions 2018, 9(8), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9080248
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Suicide is a public health problem worldwide, and spiritual experiences may be important positive experiences or coping mechanisms for difficulties associated with surviving a suicide loss. Studies have found that continuing bonds through spiritual experiences are common among individuals bereaved by suicide. [...] Read more.
Introduction: Suicide is a public health problem worldwide, and spiritual experiences may be important positive experiences or coping mechanisms for difficulties associated with surviving a suicide loss. Studies have found that continuing bonds through spiritual experiences are common among individuals bereaved by suicide. However, the literature lacks depth in understanding these experiences, such as sense of presence. Aims: The aim of this study was to qualitatively examine descriptions of continuing bonds through spiritual experiences after death by suicide. Method: A total of 1301 individuals bereaved by suicide provided 2443 free responses about their spiritual experiences based on four different prompts, which were analyzed using an inductive approach. Results: Nine common themes were identified, selected for interest, and reported: (1) a helpful sense of comfort; (2) a helpful sense of connection with the deceased; (3) intense sadness evoked by the spiritual experiences; (4) confusion regarding the spiritual experiences; (5) negative reminders of the deceased or negative meanings of spiritual experiences; (6) evidence of an afterlife; (7) general importance of the spiritual experiences’ meaning; (8) impact of and on religious beliefs; and (9) others’ responses to disclosure of suicide or spiritual experiences. Conclusion: For the overwhelming majority of participants, spiritual experiences such as a sense of presence have deep meaning and are often regarded as a positive source of healing and transformation after a suicide death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Spirituality and Wellbeing in the Context of a Study on Suicide Prevention in North India
Religions 2018, 9(6), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9060183
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
The connection between spirituality and wellbeing, including its benefits for physical and mental health, has been recognized in the Eastern cultures for a very long time, although the sharp division between science and religion has caused, for the most part, its neglect inWestern [...] Read more.
The connection between spirituality and wellbeing, including its benefits for physical and mental health, has been recognized in the Eastern cultures for a very long time, although the sharp division between science and religion has caused, for the most part, its neglect inWestern cultures until recently. Nevertheless, limited efforts have been made to explore the impact of spirituality and religion on wellbeing, including the prevention of suicide. We begin with an overview of the literature on religiousness, spirituality, and health and wellbeing. Further, we present a novel study focused on a sample of 160 Indian students from a spiritually oriented university in North India with the aim to understand how spirituality affects their lives and wellbeing and their views about suicide. Our results show that spirituality, generally, has a positive impact on participants’ wellbeing with a potential protective effect against suicidal behavior, although more research on spiritual/religious beliefs as a source of difficulties is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Does Religion/Spirituality Modify the Association of Stressful Life Events and Suicidal Ideation in Australian Men?
Religions 2018, 9(6), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9060180
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
In a large population cohort of Australian men, we previously observed that stressful life events were associated with increased suicidal ideation (SI). Many stressful life events, such as relationship breakdown and financial difficulties, occur frequently, yet most men who experience them do not [...] Read more.
In a large population cohort of Australian men, we previously observed that stressful life events were associated with increased suicidal ideation (SI). Many stressful life events, such as relationship breakdown and financial difficulties, occur frequently, yet most men who experience them do not have suicidal thoughts. There is some evidence that religious belief may be protective against suicidal behaviour. This study examined if attendance of religious service and/or perceived importance of religion/spirituality to participants modifies the association between stressful life events and suicidal thinking. Our analysis included 10,588 men who were aged 18 years or older who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men), a national cohort study of Australian males. The study compared demographic, protective and risk factors for four subgroups: No SI, Remitted SI, New SI, and Chronic SI between Wave 1 (October 2013 to July 2014) and Wave 2 (November 2015 to May 2016) of the study and conducted logistic regression for these four outcomes. The study found a protective effect for attendance of religious services for the onset of New SI at Wave 2. Importance of religion/spirituality was positively related to Chronic SI. There were no effects of service attendance or importance for any of the other SI outcomes. We discuss results of the study in relation to social connection and broader contextual factors, such as secularization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
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Open AccessArticle Spiritual and Religious Issues in the Aftermath of Suicide
Religions 2018, 9(5), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9050153
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Spirituality and religion have only been marginally investigated in the experiences of the bereaved by suicide (or survivors of suicide). Aim: This article directly addresses two questions: In what way was spirituality or religion an issue for survivors of suicide? [...] Read more.
Introduction: Spirituality and religion have only been marginally investigated in the experiences of the bereaved by suicide (or survivors of suicide). Aim: This article directly addresses two questions: In what way was spirituality or religion an issue for survivors of suicide? How were they helpful (or not) during their reconstruction process? Method: Research involved qualitative studies, carried out in Switzerland with 50 survivors of suicide using in depth-interviews. Data were analyzed according to grounded theory principles. Results: Suicide triggered questioning mainly about the afterlife of the deceased and of how transcendency relates to agency and responsibility in the suicidal act. Spiritual or religious issues play an important role in the process of reconstruction for survivors, notably in meaning-making and responsibility-clarifying processes, in forging a continuing bond with the deceased and in honoring their life and memory. Nevertheless, this role is complex and can either support or make the recovery difficult (or both). Conclusion: Mental health and social care professionals may support survivors’ resilience and their reconstruction process by valuing the constructive aspects of their spiritual and religious experiences and by taking into account the spiritual and religious struggles they face to offer effective support to survivors of suicide during recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Pathways to Attempted Suicide as Reflected in the Narratives of People with Lived Experience
Religions 2018, 9(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040137
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract
Narratives, i.e., stories told by suicidal people, describing personal experiences and meanings given to these experiences, play an important role in understanding suicidal behaviour. The aim of the current study was to analyse suicidal processes that have resulted in attempted suicide and to [...] Read more.
Narratives, i.e., stories told by suicidal people, describing personal experiences and meanings given to these experiences, play an important role in understanding suicidal behaviour. The aim of the current study was to analyse suicidal processes that have resulted in attempted suicide and to improve the understanding of protective and risk factors of suicidal behaviour. Special emphasis was paid to religious/spiritual aspects. The material was collected in Estonia by conducting narrative interviews with adults (18 years or older) who had attempted suicide during their lifetimes (N = 8). Thematic analysis was used for analysing the data. The main themes identified from the narratives were: childhood and family relationships, romantic relationships, alcohol/drug abuse, losses, sleep, previous suicide attempts, and religious/spiritual beliefs. The findings of the study show that there are many pathways to attempted suicide and that the process leading to attempted suicide is complex. Protective and risk factors are both multi-faceted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Religious Activities and Suicide Prevention: A Gender Specific Analysis
Religions 2018, 9(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040127
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
The present analysis contributes to the existing literature on religion and suicide in three interrelated ways: (1) providing an analysis of suicide completions whereas most research is based on non-lethal levels of suicidality; (2) assessing the relationship with concrete individual level data on [...] Read more.
The present analysis contributes to the existing literature on religion and suicide in three interrelated ways: (1) providing an analysis of suicide completions whereas most research is based on non-lethal levels of suicidality; (2) assessing the relationship with concrete individual level data on completed suicides instead of aggregated data marked by the ecological fallacy issue; and (3) providing gender specific analyses to determine if the relationship is gendered. METHODS. Data come from the U.S. Public Health Service, National Mortality Followback Survey. They refer to 16,795 deaths including 1385 suicides. Significant others of the deceased were interviewed to measure all variables. The dependent variable is a binary variable where 1 = death by suicide and 0 = all other causes. The central independent variable is an index of religious activities. Controls are included for five categories of confounders (1) psychiatric morbidity; (2) help-seeking behavior; (3) Opportunity factors such as firearms; (4) social integration; and (5) demographics. RESULTS. Multivariate logistic regression analysis determined that controlling for 16 predictors of suicide, a one unit increase in religious activities reduced the odds of a suicide death by 17% for males and by 15% for females. The difference in coefficients is not significant (Z = 0.51). Other significant predictors of suicide deaths included suicide ideation (OR = 8.87, males, OR = 11.48, females) and firearm availability (OR = 4.21, males, OR = 2.83, females). DISCUSSION. Religious activities were found to lower suicide risk equally for both men and women. Further work is needed to assess pathways, including suicide ideation, between religious activities and lowered suicide risk. This is the first U.S. based study to test for a gendered association between religion and suicide at the individual level of analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Religiosity and the Wish of Older Adults for Physician-Assisted Suicide
Religions 2018, 9(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030066
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
In industrialized countries, population ageing is associated with intense discussions on the issue of dying with dignity. Some countries have legalized assisted suicide and authorized physicians to provide the knowledge and/or means for suffering patients to end their life. The goal of this [...] Read more.
In industrialized countries, population ageing is associated with intense discussions on the issue of dying with dignity. Some countries have legalized assisted suicide and authorized physicians to provide the knowledge and/or means for suffering patients to end their life. The goal of this study was to ascertain if religiosity could be a predicting factor of older adults’ wish for physician-assisted suicide (PAS). A sample of 216 men and women over 60 years (M = 72.5) answered the following question: “Would you disagree or agree with assisted suicide for yourself if you were very sick and would die in the near future?” They also completed questionnaires on religiosity, ageism and death anxiety. A regression analysis showed that religiosity explained a significant (F(1211) = 19.62; p < 0.001) proportion (7.7%) of the variance in the wish for PAS (full model R2 = 0.17). Religiosity seems to reduce the likelihood that older adults would ask for PAS if they had a terminal illness, while ageism and death anxiety seemed to have the opposite effect. Health professionals and legislators must be aware that psychosocial and spiritual variables have an important influence on the wish for PAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Suicidal Ideation and Sense of Community in Faith Communities
Religions 2018, 9(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020040
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have found that religion and spirituality (R/S) are related to less suicidal ideation (SI), fewer suicide attempts and fewer suicide deaths and that an absence of social support is associated with SI, suicide attempts, and suicide death. 745 Catholic, Jewish, and [...] Read more.
Previous studies have found that religion and spirituality (R/S) are related to less suicidal ideation (SI), fewer suicide attempts and fewer suicide deaths and that an absence of social support is associated with SI, suicide attempts, and suicide death. 745 Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant congregants completed an online survey measuring their sense of community (SOC) in their faith community, overall belonging and SI. SOC was weakly related to SI. Congregants attending more than one service per week reported more SI and more importance to feel a SOC. Jewish and Hispanic congregants reported more SI. Unmarried congregants reported lower overall belonging, more SOC and more SI, suggesting that people apportion their sense of connectedness differently. Future studies might examine the relationship of SOC to suicide attempts and deaths and how a faith community might confer SOC differently from a non-religious/non-spiritual community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessArticle Religious Orientation and Its Relationship to Suicidality: A Study in One of the Least Religious Countries
Religions 2018, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010015
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 7 January 2018
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Abstract
The relationship between religious orientation and suicidality can be more complex in samples of low religious rate. The present study was conducted in China, one of the least religious countries, with the purpose of exploring different aspects of religious orientation and their relationships [...] Read more.
The relationship between religious orientation and suicidality can be more complex in samples of low religious rate. The present study was conducted in China, one of the least religious countries, with the purpose of exploring different aspects of religious orientation and their relationships to suicidality. Among a university sample of 2074 respondents, 122 respondents reported being religious and responded to our measures of religious orientation and suicidality. Extrinsic religious orientation, while being distinct from intrinsic religious orientation, could be subdivided into personally-oriented and socially-oriented dimensions to predict suicidality in our sample. Results from regression analysis showed that respondents with higher intrinsic religious orientation and lower personally-oriented extrinsic religious orientation are more likely to have lower suicidality. These findings support that intrinsic orientation is embodied with positive outcomes whereas extrinsic orientation is embodied with negative outcomes. It is noteworthy that socially-oriented extrinsic religious orientation did not predict suicidality in our sample, as it was speculated that the role of socially-oriented extrinsic religious orientation cannot function when there are few religious people to socialize with in the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Identifying Ingrained Historical Cognitive Biases Influencing Contemporary Pastoral Responses Depriving Suicide-Bereaved People of Essential Protective Factors
Religions 2017, 8(12), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120267
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Historically and collectively, the Church has not responded to suicide-bereaved people with compassion, denying pastoral care in the form of spiritual, emotional, and practical support, considered key protective factors along with community support in facilitating funeral rite for their loved one [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Historically and collectively, the Church has not responded to suicide-bereaved people with compassion, denying pastoral care in the form of spiritual, emotional, and practical support, considered key protective factors along with community support in facilitating funeral rite for their loved one in their deepest, darkest, hour of need, thereby placing them at risk to disenfranchised grief. (2) Aims: The study explores the presence of historical ingrained cognitive biases in contemporary pastoral responses from caregivers within Evangelical and Pentecostal streams. (3) Methods: Caregivers were provided with training offering greater understanding of the multifarious issues involved in the life of a person who has died by suicide and challenges faced by the bereaved. Responses to pre-workshop self-contemplating surveys based on workshop objectives were then compared to post-workshop survey responses of participant’s subjective evaluation of knowledge and skills gained through information presented. (4) Results: Post-workshop survey data revealed healthy shifts in historically ingrained cognitive biases; (5) Conclusions: These shifts provide the foundation for future pastoral encounters to offer spiritual, emotional, and practical support, considered key protective factors for those bereaved by suicide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Why Are Suicides So Widespread in Catholic Lithuania?
Religions 2018, 9(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030071
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
Religion as a protective factor against suicide was introduced in Durkheim’s theory of suicide and analysed from various perspectives in multiple studies. The Lithuanian case is intriguing because before WWII, along with Catholic Poland, it showed much lower suicide rates than its Protestant [...] Read more.
Religion as a protective factor against suicide was introduced in Durkheim’s theory of suicide and analysed from various perspectives in multiple studies. The Lithuanian case is intriguing because before WWII, along with Catholic Poland, it showed much lower suicide rates than its Protestant neighbours Latvia and Estonia. However, today Lithuania is among the leading countries in terms of the prevalence of suicide. Interestingly, not much has changed in Lithuania in terms of religious denomination—about 80% of population call themselves Catholic. The aim of this article was to explore which factors might have affected religions’ protective function against suicide during radical historical processes. The method of study consists of an analysis of historical sources, and of recent studies in suicidology and sociology of religion about suicide and religion in Lithuania. The results of this analysis show that two factors seem to be most important—heroicizing resistance suicides and experiencing long-term politics of atheisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Does Religiosity Predict Suicidal Behavior?
Religions 2017, 8(11), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8110238
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Research was reviewed on whether self-report measures of religiosity were a protective factor against suicidal behaviors. It was found that scores on Francis’s measure of religiosity was negatively associated with non-lethal suicidal behavior (ideation and attempts), a protective effect. Similarly, it was found [...] Read more.
Research was reviewed on whether self-report measures of religiosity were a protective factor against suicidal behaviors. It was found that scores on Francis’s measure of religiosity was negatively associated with non-lethal suicidal behavior (ideation and attempts), a protective effect. Similarly, it was found that intrinsic religiosity (but not extrinsic religiosity) was negatively associated with non-lethal suicidal behaviors. However, these associations were weak. Research is needed on the issue whether counselors can use their patients’ religiosity to reduce the risk of dying by suicide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Flaming Chalice of Hope: A Case Study of Suicide Prevention in a Faith Community
Religions 2018, 9(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040123
Received: 7 January 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
The integration of spiritual and emotional health is key for the development of a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. Faith communities play a unique and powerful role in shaping this integration. This case study investigated one United States-based, predominantly White Unitarian [...] Read more.
The integration of spiritual and emotional health is key for the development of a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. Faith communities play a unique and powerful role in shaping this integration. This case study investigated one United States-based, predominantly White Unitarian Universalist faith community’s efforts in the development of promising practices for “upstream, midstream, and downstream” approaches to suicide prevention. Through a series of in-depth interviews with stakeholders (leadership, volunteers, family members with lived experience), response patterns were used to identify key strategies to promote mental health and prevent suicide. These key strategies include developing healthy social connectedness across one’s life, finding ways to make meaning by connecting with something larger than oneself, and cultivating a community that is compassionate and knowledgeable when assisting its members through emotional crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessEssay Christian Ethical Boundaries of Suicide Prevention
Religions 2018, 9(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010030
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
In Western countries the general rule is that caregivers do everything possible to prevent suicide. The aim of this essay is to critically reflect on that position along three questions: is there an unconditional obligation to live, how far does the duty reach [...] Read more.
In Western countries the general rule is that caregivers do everything possible to prevent suicide. The aim of this essay is to critically reflect on that position along three questions: is there an unconditional obligation to live, how far does the duty reach to safeguard life, and how does one deal with the tension between suicide prevention and euthanasia? The study material consists of Christian theological and ethical literature and relevant legislation, while the method is a religious ethical reflection, clarified by means of a case study. We consider suicide as an expression of an existential search for meaning and interwoven with psychiatric problems. After discussing the three ethical arguments against suicide, we conclude that the inviolability of life is a generally recognized and fundamental value, but that there is no unconditional obligation to live. Nevertheless, there is a legal duty to safeguard life. In practice however, restriction of freedom and coercion are counterproductive in the search for meaning and require a proportional assessment between inviolability of life and autonomy. Finally, the legal possibility of euthanasia in mental suffering or medically assisted suicide brings caregivers in a confusing situation. Good companionship of the euthanasia request may help finding a new life perspective and hence may contribute to suicide prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
Open AccessEssay Romantism, Amazement, Imagination—A trias religiosa
Religions 2018, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010018
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
To wonder is a gift of the romanticist in particular. Wonder seeks explanation. If reason doesn’t provide that, imagination provides a way out. One imagines a transcendental world of which the God-idea may become the central point and the explanatory model of that [...] Read more.
To wonder is a gift of the romanticist in particular. Wonder seeks explanation. If reason doesn’t provide that, imagination provides a way out. One imagines a transcendental world of which the God-idea may become the central point and the explanatory model of that that invoked wonder. The God-idea implies wonder, wonder that live exists, that things exist at all. Wonder promotes religiosity—i.c., the need to provide life with a vertical dimension—and religiosity facilitates, in its turn, wonder. Thus the circle is closed: romanticism, wonder, imagination, religiosity, wonder. A circle providing life with an important bonus, i.e., sense, meaning with a supernatural signature. This augments the chance that hope will be preserved, even as dark clouds begin to hover above one’s life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
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