Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

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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Lessons from Amazon: Being open to change can spur congregational vitality, growth

The majority of congregations are at a crossroad today: They must adapt to a culture where churchgoing is increasingly more of a choice than an obligation, or face a future of sustained decline. Yet many congregations have been reluctant to embrace any major changes in outreach to attract new members or retain younger generations. Instead, they appear to be cutting back, research indicates.

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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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It's the faith talking: How religion may reduce alcohol abuse

More than a few New Year’s resolutions for 2017 will involve reducing alcohol use or stopping drinking altogether. A lot of people will not succeed. What may give them a better chance, however, is having a strong faith, research suggests. A new wave of studies provides insights into the myriad ways religion appears to protect against alcohol abuse.

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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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Studies reveal 5 ways faith matters in the struggle to place spiritual before material goods

It is not just Western Christians in this Advent period who are tempted to ignore their faith’s warnings to focus on spiritual rather than material goods. New studies are revealing the ways members of different global faiths may transcend – or fall prey to – consumer cultures willing to co-opt even their most sacred festivals to move merchandise.

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The rise and fall - and rise? - of Christian nationalism

Does the 2016 election portend the rise of Christian nationalism? Two new studies shed light on the conditions that appear to predict support for Christian nationalism, and how Donald Trump’s presidential run may have played a substantial role in its revival.

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The campaign paradox: Strong leaders need humility

How did we get to this dark and disturbing point of incivility in the presidential campaign? Three leading scholars in the science of humility share insights into the political process and the unrealistic demands we make on candidates, the real dangers of unrestrained narcissism in a president and what individuals can do to be part of the solution.

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As politicians go low, faith can combat body shaming, new research finds. Do you consider yourself 'fearfully and wonderfully made'?

Faith may play a powerful role in relation to the continuing widespread acceptance of body shaming in America, according to new research. People who consider their body, in the words of Psalm 139, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” were significantly more likely to report feeling good about their bodies, one study found. However, believers who consider the body to be basically sinful were more likely to be ashamed of their body.

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