Special Issue "Religion, Spirituality and Health: Forgiveness in Health, Medicine and Social Sciences"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Deborah Lycett RD
Website
Guest Editor
Reader in Nutrition, Dietetics and Spiritual Health, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK
Interests: Obesity; Spiritual Health; Emotional Eating; Religion and Health; Nutrition and Dietetics; Psychology of Eating and weight control
Dr. med. René Hefti
Website
Guest Editor
University of Bern, Faculty of Medicine; Research Institute for Spirituality and Health; Switzerland
Interests: conceptual issues in whole person medicine; integrating religion and spirituality into clinical practice; impact of R/S on the outcome of holistic treatment approaches; spirituality and cardiovascular diseases; spirituality and pain
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Arndt Büssing
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Guest Editor
Professorship Quality of Life, Spirituality and Coping, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
Interests: mind-body medicine approaches; spirituality and health; quality of life; coping; questionnaire development; integrative medicine; clinical studies; health service research; spiritual dryness; awe
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Chris Cook
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RS, UK
Interests: spirituality; theology & health; addiction
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forgiveness has been associated with improved mental well-being in observational studies (Krause 2018). Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of forgiveness treatments, compared to control or no treatment, show forgiveness reduces depression, stress and anxiety, and increases hope (Wade et al 2014; Akhtar and Barlow 2018). Therefore attention needs to be given to its role in health and well-being. However forgiveness although considered distinct from justification (VanderWeele 2018), is not an isolated concept and is complicated by individual or societal sense of right and wrong, of justice, of morality—such concepts are inexplicitly linked with secular, spiritual or religious beliefs (Giannini 2017). Therefore generating new insights from multidisciplinary discussions on this topic stands to contribute to the health of society and the well-being of individuals.

This special issue covers “Forgiveness in Health, Medicine and Social Sciences”, the theme of the 6th European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health ECRSH (http://www.ecrsh.eu/ecrsh-2018) joint with the 5th International Conference of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality. We welcome contributions by academics and practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines, from around the world, including those presented at the conference and those which continue the discussion.

References

Krause, N., 2018. Assessing the relationships among religion, humility, forgiveness, and self-rated health. Research in Human Development, 15(1), pp.33-49.

Wade NG, Hoyt WT, Kidwell JE, Worthington EL. (2014) Efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions to promote forgiveness: a meta-analysis. J Consult Clin Psychol. 82(1):154–170.

Akhtar, S. and Barlow, J., 2018. Forgiveness therapy for the promotion of mental well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 19(1), pp.107-122.

VanderWeele, T. J. (2018) Is Forgiveness a Public Health Issue?. AJPH. 108(2), pp. 189–190.

Giannini, H. C. (2017). Hope as Grounds for Forgiveness. Journal of Religious Ethics, 45(1), 58-82.

Dr. Deborah Lycett RD
Dr.med. René Hefti
Prof. Dr. med. Arndt Büssing
Prof. Dr. Chris Cook
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

  • Offense
  • Forgiveness
  • Guilt
  • Therapy
  • Health
  • Clinical Practice
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Single Case Narrative of Spirituality Following Aphasia from Traumatic Brain Injury: Findings about Forgiveness and Freedom Using WELLHEAD and SHALOM
Religions 2019, 10(5), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10050301 - 01 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Rehabilitation has neglected the spirituality of people with aphasia, a neurogenic impairment of language for communication and thought processes. Aphasia reduces scope for adjustment processes where words are normal currency, such as forgiveness and reconciliation. A single case narrative was generated from a [...] Read more.
Rehabilitation has neglected the spirituality of people with aphasia, a neurogenic impairment of language for communication and thought processes. Aphasia reduces scope for adjustment processes where words are normal currency, such as forgiveness and reconciliation. A single case narrative was generated from a case series exploring the feasibility of spiritual health assessment in aphasia. The individual had traumatic brain injury, with the primary symptom of aphasia, giving the first detailed account of its kind. The WELLHEAD spirituality toolkit provided a structured interview approach, exploring spirituality in terms of ‘meaning and purpose’ within four dimensions, WIDE, LONG, HIGH and DEEP, incorporating patient-reported outcome measures and goal-setting, with feedback interviews. Spiritual Health and Life Orientation Measure (SHALOM) generated a comparator spiritual health assessment. The quantitative feedback measures and self-reported outcomes were complemented by detailed qualitative interview transcripts subject to systematic thematic analysis in NVivo. The findings were co-constructed and systematically verified. This non-religious narrative evidenced the accessibility, acceptability, and impact of the resources. Self-forgiveness was paramount for freedom to journey into the unknown beyond self with ‘Calm’, towards helping others and accepting help. Religion, Faith and Belief were reconceptualised. Forgiveness of self and others was integral and instrumental in recovery, offering avenues for further investigation and application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A View of Spirituality and Spiritual Care in a Sample of Spanish Nurses
Religions 2019, 10(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020129 - 22 Feb 2019
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to explore a select group of Spanish nurses’ views of spirituality and spiritual care. An exploratory design using both qualitative and quantitative methods was used in this study. The participants were nurses who were enrolled in a [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to explore a select group of Spanish nurses’ views of spirituality and spiritual care. An exploratory design using both qualitative and quantitative methods was used in this study. The participants were nurses who were enrolled in a Master of Nursing Research. Data were collected via an open questionnaire. Furthermore, participants completed the Meaning in Life Scale (MiLS-Sp), whose results were analysed using quantitative methodology. The results that were obtained from the quantitative analyses reported a satisfactory mean score on nurses’ self-reported spirituality. Qualitative data were analysed using grounded theory procedures. Qualitative analysis showed two approaches to spirituality nurses’ views: (i) a clinical approach that influenced by the context of their clinical practice and (ii) an alternative approach where spirituality was viewed as a health resource, moving away from the biomedical model of nursing training. Nurses are sensitive to spirituality issues and acknowledge their importance to practice. Despite this, they view spirituality in a rather mechanistic way without changing their attitudes, competences and perspectives on healthcare. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Forgiveness in Committed Couples: Its Synergy with Humility, Justice, and Reconciliation
Religions 2019, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010013 - 27 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Theologians, pastors, and psychological help-providers have not always worked harmoniously. This can be especially true with couples. Theological and pastoral help-providers value marriage as sacred and are reluctant to entertain ending it. Most psychotherapists have more training and experience in individual psychotherapy than [...] Read more.
Theologians, pastors, and psychological help-providers have not always worked harmoniously. This can be especially true with couples. Theological and pastoral help-providers value marriage as sacred and are reluctant to entertain ending it. Most psychotherapists have more training and experience in individual psychotherapy than in couple therapy. Drawing on the parable of the Good Samaritan, we appeal to theologians, pastors, and psychological help-givers to work together. We examine ways that psychological findings might inform theology and pastoral practice. As an example, we use forgiveness in committed romantic relationships. What causes strong couple relationships are the formation, strengthening, maintenance, and (when damaged) repair of ruptures in the emotional bond. Thus, forgiveness is one major cause of good marriage. Forgiveness requires being oriented toward the other person’s welfare, and in humility responding to wrongdoing mercifully. Forgiving in committed relationships seeks a net positive emotional valence toward the partner built on empathy, humility, and responsibility. Good relationships also involve self-forgiveness when one feels self-condemnation over one’s own misdeeds. For help-givers, humility is a key to promoting relational experiences of virtue. We show that forgiveness is related to health. Religiously oriented help-providers can promote better relationships and better health by fostering forgiveness. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“It’s Almost Impossible to Speak about It”: Sexual Abuse, Forgiveness, and the Need for Restitution Rituals
Religions 2018, 9(12), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120421 - 18 Dec 2018
Abstract
The focus of this research was on ways in which Christian congregations can address the concept of forgiveness when caring for victims of sexual abuse, and to make suggestions for a restitution mass as a possible way for congregations to work with these [...] Read more.
The focus of this research was on ways in which Christian congregations can address the concept of forgiveness when caring for victims of sexual abuse, and to make suggestions for a restitution mass as a possible way for congregations to work with these victims. Interviews with seven women and one man, who were victims of sexual abuse, were analyzed according to inductive thematic analysis. Our focus was on abuse that had occurred outside Church, i.e., not perpetrated by representatives for the Church. The informants described how attending services in Church could trigger their memories of sexual abuse, and they struggled to understand the concept of forgiveness; who they were to forgive and what made their forgiveness good enough. They expressed a need for the Church to offer them a safe space, rituals where their experiences would be acknowledged, and to meet with other victims of sexual abuse. We argue that representatives for the Church need to acquire knowledge about sexual abuse and its consequences before offering care. Further, the presence of victims of sexual abuse in a congregation demands that the congregation create appropriate conditions where the victim’s needs and concerns are put into focus. Addressing forgiveness and offering rituals must be done in such a way that it does not consolidate the victim’s feelings of exclusion, guilt, and shame. Full article

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Open AccessConcept Paper
“Mere” Christian Forgiveness: An Ecumenical Christian Conceptualization of Forgiveness through the Lens of Stress-And-Coping Theory
Religions 2019, 10(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010044 - 10 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Forgiveness is a central theme within the Christian faith, yet Christian traditions sometimes vary in how they understand and approach the forgiveness process. Nevertheless, in this paper, we present an ecumenical model of Christian forgiveness that highlights the essential components that are shared [...] Read more.
Forgiveness is a central theme within the Christian faith, yet Christian traditions sometimes vary in how they understand and approach the forgiveness process. Nevertheless, in this paper, we present an ecumenical model of Christian forgiveness that highlights the essential components that are shared across most Christian traditions. Importantly, rather than using a theological lens to develop and describe this model, we have primarily used a psychological lens. Specifically, we have adopted stress-and-coping theory as the psychological framework for understanding a Christian conceptualization of forgiveness. We identify four types of forgiveness (divine forgiveness, self-forgiveness, person-to-person forgiveness, and organizational–societal forgiveness) and describe a Christian conceptualization of each one, filtered through the psychological perspective of stress-and-coping theory. Full article
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