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

Guest Editor
Dr. Deborah Lycett RD

Reader in Nutrition, Dietetics and Spiritual Health, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Obesity; Spiritual Health; Emotional Eating; Religion and Health; Nutrition and Dietetics; Psychology of Eating and weight control
Guest Editor
Dr. med. René Hefti

University of Bern, Faculty of Medicine; Research Institute for Spirituality and Health; Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
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
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. med. Arndt Büssing

Institute for Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 50, 58448 Witten, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49-2330-623246
Fax: +49 2330623358
Interests: mind-body medicine approaches; spirituality and health; quality of life; coping; questionnaire development; integrative medicine; clinical studies; health service research
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Chris Cook

Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RS, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 0191 334 1047
Interests: spirituality; theology & health; addiction

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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Keywords

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

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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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
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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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
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 27 December 2018
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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
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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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

Other

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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
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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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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