College freshmen undergoing spiritual struggles may be at risk for addictive behaviors, a study indicates. The finding is consistent with a developing body of research revealing the complex nature of religion and mental health. The assurance of a loving God concerned with their welfare helps many people deal with life’s stresses, but individuals with a less secure attachment to the divine may face greater problems with anxiety and depression.
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Forgiveness is linked to better mental and physical health. And religious traditions generally uphold the practice as a great virtue. But forgiveness is also a deeply personal act, one that can harm trauma survivors if it is coerced or demanded before they are able to come to terms with their pain and suffering, experts note. “The first thing is to surround the people with care and compassion,” one researcher says.
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columns bringing you the latest news in religion research from throughout the world.
This will be a collegial effort, enlisting the cooperation of researchers, universities, journal editors, institutes and associations of scholars to increase the impact and awareness of important findings in religion research.
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David Briggs, a former national writer for The Associated Press who holds a master's degree from Yale Divinity School, is consistently honored among the Top 10 secular religion writers and reporters in North America.
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