Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

It is most blessed to give and to receive, studies suggest

In a culture that prizes rugged individualism, many Americans find it is more acceptable to give than to receive. Yet the blessings appear to multiply when one is able to do both, according to new research. People who both meet the needs of others and are cared for in a nurturing community are much more likely to love and trust their neighbors, studies indicate.

[Read Full Column...]

Leaning inward: Mothers at the margins find hope, support in faith

Research lifting up the experiences of mothers facing hardships, whether in a homeless shelter in the Southwest, or in a maximum-security prison in the Midwest, or ostracized with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests many women rely on religion and spirituality for a pathway beyond despair to having a sense of hope for the future. Their stories reveal a powerful faith that provides a vision of a better life for them and their children.

[Read Full Column...]

Morality study: What would you do for a million dollars?

A major new study now available on the Association of Religion Data Archives offers insights into how Americans apply ethical principles in the moral choices they make in their everyday lives. While most of us like to think of ourselves as merciful, kind, generous human beings, personal interests may take precedence when it comes to making real-life decisions.

[Read Full Column...]

How can secular and religious individuals share the same public space? Humility, humility and humility

Lifting up the virtue of humility may seem anachronistic in an age that extols self-adulation. But for Tomas Halik, a Czech priest and philosopher who won the 2014 Templeton Prize, the willingness of religious and secular individuals to engage in dialogue and learn from one another is essential to a civil society. “We must learn to share public space,” Halik declares.

[Read Full Column...]

Divine support may reduce parental stress, increase satisfaction

Do religious teachings set up impossibly high standards that increase parental guilt. Or does the idea God stands with them in times of both joy and anxiety reduce stress and lead to increased parental satisfaction? The answer is a little of both. But new research suggests that there is a positive relation between some faith practices and beliefs and being a happier mom or dad.

[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...]

As religious tensions cross borders, nativist fears fuel global hostilities, restrictions

When it comes to religious tensions, what happens in one part of the world does not necessarily stay in that part of the world. Influences from abroad in recent years were reported to have contributed to religious hostilities or government restrictions in more than six in 10 countries across the globe, according to a new study.

[Read Full Column...]

A religion scholar who changed lives: The grace of Deborah Bruce

In a world where humility is considered more a weakness than a virtue, she was self-effacing and dedicated to serving others. In a profession where information can be guarded to serve institutional or personal concerns, she leaves behind a rich collection of data on American religion. In a culture where polarization can lead to despair for those committed to sharing uncomfortable truths, she responded with respect and good humor. A lot of us are going to miss Deborah Bruce, the project manager of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey

[Read Full Column...]

Dynamic ‘nones’ hold key to future of American religion

The growing number of Americans reporting no religious affiliation are at the center of a debate over whether the United States is inevitably moving toward becoming a more secular nation or is experiencing shifts in the religious marketplace but stability in basic beliefs and behaviors. There are no easy answers. A growing body of evidence reveals a complex portrait of Americans who do not identify with a particular religious group. Many “nones,” some scholars say, find themselves “betwixt and between the religious and the secular, but they are not necessarily on the path to being one or the other.”

[Read Full Column...]

Experiencing is believing: Odyssey into the heart of American religion punctures stereotypes

Forget the popular cultural images from shows such as HBO’s “Big Love” that revive stereotypes linking Mormonism with polygamy or the ubiquitous images in the news associating Islam with terrorism. Look past the cultural crossfire that lumps religious liberals and conservatives into separate boxes defined by extremist political and social agendas. The reality, as presented in a new book by two respected scholars, is that if you walk into a mosque, synagogue, temple or church next weekend, you will most likely find groups of believers in prayer and meditation seeking spiritual growth.

[Read Full Column...]