Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

Faithful measures deepen understanding of religion

In a new book, “Faithful Measures: New Methods in the Measurement of Religion,” leading religion researchers across academic disciplines explore an array of evolving new tools and measures that can help deepen understanding of the role of religion in public and private lives today. They include ways to compare polls on factors from survey methodology to question wording for a clearer understanding of their value and potential bias.

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How perceptions of God help determine self-esteem, mental health

A growing body of research is revealing the mental health benefits of having a close personal relationship with a caring divinity. In one of the latest national studies, the more participants reported feeling God’s love, presence and guidance, the more likely they were to agree they are a person of worth.

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Survey finds a nation divided by faith, politics: Muslims, atheists, conservative Christians bear brunt of fears, distrust

Technology does not scare us. Nor especially does the fear of Hell or worries about getting into heaven. But the fears and suspect motives we place on belief systems different than our own very much concerns Americans, according to the latest wave of the Baylor Religion Survey. For centuries, Catholics and Jewish people bore the[ READ FULL COLUMN ]

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Global studies reveal 5 ways faith can reduce bullying, empower victims

A new wave of international scholarship addressing public concerns over bullying is extending into religious communities.
Researchers are discovering that congregations are uniquely positioned to offer the type of social support and the promotion of values such as empathy, forgiveness and love of neighbor that appear to be effective ways of addressing the issue.

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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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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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