Archive for the ‘clergy’ Category

Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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Culture matters: Reconciling faith and homosexuality across borders

No one factor tells the whole story of why attitudes toward homosexuality vary widely across national borders. But new research is helping to unravel why, despite the fact most world religions have proscriptions against homosexual practices, some nations are much more tolerant than others.

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Studies: How clergy can help believers die a 'good death'

Two new studies find that many clergy are both ill-prepared and reluctant to fully engage in end-of-life conversations with terminally ill congregation members and their families. The result, the studies suggest, is that more believers may be spending their final days enduring painful treatments with little chance of success.

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Study: Many physicians don't keep faith in their doctor's bag

In this era of increasing patient-centered care, many doctors still are reluctant to talk to their patients about religion. But physicians who are both spiritual and religious are more likely to believe that faith can be medically relevant.

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Science affirms how black lives matter in the black church - a source of hope and strength in troubled times

Science is providing greater insight into how black faith and the black church have been sources of enduring hope and strength in troubled times. Several new studies build on past research in revealing how this special faith continues to be associated with positive outcomes for black Americans amid the realities of discrimination and economic, political and social inequality.

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Demonic influences: Beware the devil you know

Belief in the existence of powerful supernatural evil beings was one of the strongest predictors of poor mental health in young adults, according to a new study. Yet having poor mental health did not lead to greater belief in demonic forces.

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Mere humanity: Clergy who are humble, accessible may boost their own health as well as the congregation's

Many clergy worry that being honest about their own limitations may be seen as a sign of weakness. Yet new research suggests that not only do congregation members value pastors who are approachable, and share their humanity, but that feeling compelled to live up to unrealistic standards of spiritual perfection can take a debilitating toll on the mental health of pastors.

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A Christmas story: How humility can help de-stress new parents, build tolerance

New research on humility is revealing how “the quiet virtue” may help build peace in both the lives of individuals and in diverse cultures. Among the more immediate beneficiaries: Couples having their first child.

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The gift of life, helping the stranger and a 'honeymoon effect?' for pastors

Who is more likely to be nice this holiday season? New research sheds light on the relation between religion and blood donation, how one’s image of God influences an individual’s sense of moral obligation and likelihood to volunteer and whether being new to a congregation can lower or heighten stress levels for clergy.

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Saying 'I do' may reduce religious ties, but parenthood boosts rate of return for couples AND singles

Even as young adults increasingly put off marriage, the traditional assumption that saying “I do” at the altar can help pump new vibrancy into congregational life no longer appears valid, new research indicates. What does bring young adults back to religious congregations is having children. And it is not just married couples with children that are filling pews.

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