Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

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.

[Read Full Column...]

A Nation Divided By Fear: Studies reveal widespread lack of social trust

America may be nearing a critical tipping point where our fears, particularly of vulnerable groups such as Muslims and immigrants, are breaking down the sense of social trust that enables nations and communities to work together for the common good, research indicates. A new set of studies surveying fears in 2014 and 2015 offer insights into how much we are afraid of one another.

[Read Full Column...]

The war at home: Four ways good faith can help defeat ISIS

Protect religious freedom. Maintain an independent judiciary. Respect your neighbor. Get to know your neighbors. These are the ways the nation can help reduce the threat of terrorism and preserve civil liberties, research suggests.

[Read Full Column...]

Walking through the darkest valleys: How religion can be a healing balm for veterans

Religion can be a critical source of spiritual and social support for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, new research indicates. What also matters is that it be the right type of spiritual support. Veterans who are able to find a resource in faith in a loving God who cares for them appear to be better able to work through the stresses of combat. Those who continue to struggle with images of a judgmental God who is responsible for senseless suffering may be more likely to take their own lives.

[Read Full Column...]

How to build a better world: Jean Vanier on love, humility and the path to peace

What kind of a world would it be if the stories and ideas that captured our attention reflected our common humanity? It might be a world where we can envision ourselves as sisters and brothers in a large human family, says Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live together. Today, at 86, as he joins the pantheon of Templeton Prize winners that includes individuals such as the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa, Vanier sees a world teetering between love and fear, where the culture erects walls of distrust that lead people to fear those who are different.

[Read Full Column...]

Forgiveness in its own time: How faith communities can help trauma survivors heal

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.

[Read Full Column...]

Studies: Religion linked to fewer violent crimes; being ‘spiritual but not religious’ tied to increased risk

Can religion help reduce violent crime? Two new studies suggest the answer is yes, both by creating a moral climate that fosters respect among neighbors and by helping to form individual consciences of young adults. Communities with high levels of active participation in congregations may be particularly effective in reducing assaults, rapes and murders in some poor areas that are most likely to suffer from violent crimes, the research indicates.

[Read Full Column...]

Media matters: R-rated films, violent video games may lower religious practice of teens, young adults

Can a steady diet of watching movies such as “Ted” and “Saw” through “Saw VI” or playing violent video games keep young people out of the pews? The answer may be yes, according to studies suggesting the viewing choices young people make also can influence their spiritual lives. It is more complex than a simple “content in, action out” principle where young people emulate the behavior they see on screen. Still, researchers are finding many young adults appear to struggle with the radically different messages of “Machete Kills” or “Grand Theft Auto” and the Sermon on the Mount.

[Read Full Column...]

Demon rum: Study finds alcohol may release aggression in religious individuals

Religious beliefs and practices in general are associated with more compassionate behavior toward others. And a new study of religion, alcohol and violence revealed that religious folks who were not under the influence were the most likely to turn the other cheek. However, the researchers also found that religious individuals who were intoxicated were the most likely to display aggression. “We uncovered a darker, more counterintuitive, side of religiosity’s influence on aggression,” they reported.

[Read Full Column...]