How does social class shape the self-concept?
- Stephens, Markus, and Phillips ( 2014) have analysed the ways in which social class shapes the self-concept through the ‘gateway contexts’ of home, school, and work. With a focus on the United States, but with broader implications, they argue that social class gives rise to culture-specific selves and patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.
- 1 What are spiritual and social values?
- 2 How does social class affect religion?
- 3 How does spirituality affect society?
- 4 Who is a spiritual person?
- 5 What is social and spiritual development?
- 6 What are some examples of spiritual values?
- 7 What are the 5 social classes?
- 8 Which social class is more religious?
- 9 What are the social classes?
- 10 What are the 3 elements of spirituality?
- 11 What is a spiritual aspect?
- 12 How do I know I have a spiritual gift?
- 13 How do I find my spirituality?
- 14 The Increasing Population of the Spiritual but Not Religious — What Social Workers Need to Know
- 15 Chapter 2. Religion and Social Issues
- 16 Report: People who are highly spiritual tend to be more civic-minded
- 17 Spirituality Can Improve Many Aspects of Your Life and Health
- 18 Signs of Spirituality
- 19 Types of Spirituality
- 20 Uses
- 21 Impact of Spirituality
- 22 Tips
- 23 Potential Pitfalls
- 24 Why Is Spirituality Important?
- 25 Seven Ways to Improve Your Spiritual Health
- 26 The truth about Gen Z and religion
- 27 A reason to believe
- 28 Predisposed to believe
- 29 Neural underpinnings
- 30 Pro-sociality
ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values.
The concept of religious theodicy explains that people adopt beliefs that coincide with their status in life. Wealthier classes lean toward beliefs that justify their economic situations, while the lower classes lean toward those that promise wealth in the hereafter.
How does spirituality affect society?
Spirituality seems to help people cope with illness, suffering and death. Spirituality also influences end-of-life decisions. All people, with or without a connection to organized religion or any spiritual practices, seem to benefit from finding their own sense of meaning, purpose and connectedness.
Who is a spiritual person?
Being a spiritual person is synonymous with being a person whose highest priority is to be loving to yourself and others. A spiritual person cares about people, animals and the planet. A spiritual person knows that we are all One, and consciously attempts to honor this Oneness.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) is about everything we do at TCS, to help pupils build their own personal values, have positive relationships with others and become responsible young citizens in society.
What are some examples of spiritual values?
To make a list, then spiritual values include: Honesty Trust Kindness
Gallup has, for a number of years, asked Americans to place themselves — without any guidance — into five social classes: upper, upper-middle, middle, working and lower. These five class labels are representative of the general approach used in popular language and by researchers.
However, there is some evidence to suggest that, in contemporary society, religiosity is in fact higher among the middle class. A survey from 2015 suggested that 62% of church goers are middle class.
social class, also called class, a group of people within a society who possess the same socioeconomic status. Besides being important in social theory, the concept of class as a collection of individuals sharing similar economic circumstances has been widely used in censuses and in studies of social mobility.
What are the 3 elements of spirituality?
The shamans, healers, sages, and wisdom keepers of all times, all continents, and all peoples, in their ageless wisdom, say that human spirituality is composed of three aspects: relationships, values, and life purpose.
What is a spiritual aspect?
The spiritual aspect of humanity is an enrichment giving sense and purpose to life. That does not mean that there is not a spiritual aspect to the life of every human being that needs to be nurtured. 5
How do I know I have a spiritual gift?
Waking up between 3 and 4 AM on a regular basis is a huge sign that there are spirits looking to communicate with you. This time is often referred to as the “spiritual” or “connection hour”. If you are waking up consistently at the same time every morning, sit up, and allow yourself to receive messages. Welcome them.
How do I find my spirituality?
5 Ways To Find A Sense Of Spirituality Without Religion
- Take 10 minutes to calm your mind when you wake up.
- Be useful to others.
- Know that you don’t need India, Bali, or the Amazon jungle to locate your sense of spirit.
- Explore what spirituality without religion means for you and who embodies it.
- Keep it simple.
The Increasing Population of the Spiritual but Not Religious — What Social Workers Need to Know
Chapter 2. Religion and Social Issues
It is true that the middle class is more inclined than the upper class in most nations and areas to accept more secular and tolerant values. Religion was typically less significant in the personal lives of middle-class respondents throughout the 13 nations included in this study, and they were less likely to believe that believing in God is a necessity for living a decent life than those from lower socioeconomic classes. In addition, those from the middle classes were more likely to feel that homosexuality should be tolerated by society than people from lower levels.
Importance of Religion in Your Life
Religion is more important in the lives of lower-income residents in nine of the thirteen nations studied. In certain instances, the disparities between income categories were fairly significant. For example, 86 percent of Malaysians from lower socioeconomic classes believe religion is extremely important in their lives, but 60 percent of Malaysians from medium and upper socioeconomic classes agree. The disparities between income categories in Mexico and Poland were nevertheless significant, albeit being lower in magnitude.
Argentina (12 percentage points), India (12 percentage points), Chile (10 percentage points), and Bulgaria were also found to have significant income-group inequalities (7 points).
In South Africa, over eight out of ten people answered that religion is extremely important to them, but in Egypt, little more than six out of ten people shared similar sentiment.
Faith and Morality
Religion is more important in the lives of lower-income residents in nine out of thirteen nations studied. Occasionally, the disparities between income categories were fairly significant. 86 percent of Malaysians from lower socioeconomic classes believe religion is extremely important in their lives, whilst 60 percent of Malaysians from medium and upper socioeconomic classes believe the same. The disparities between income levels in Mexico and Poland were nevertheless significant, albeit being reduced in both countries.
Argentina (12 percentage points), India (12 percentage points), Chile (10 percentage points), and Bulgaria also had significant income-group disparities (7 points).
In South Africa, around eight out of ten people said that religion is extremely important to them, but in Egypt, slightly more than six out of ten people said that religion is very important to them On the other hand, few people in Ukraine and Russia, regardless of their socioeconomic status, felt religion to be extremely essential.
Should Homosexuality be Accepted?
Despite the fact that tolerance for homosexuality varies greatly among the 13 nations, the middle class is often more accepting than those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The middle-class populations of two Eastern European nations were more receptive to homosexuality as a way of life, according to the research. A majority of Poles in the middle class (58 percent) believe that homosexuality should be tolerated by society, however just 41 percent of those in the lower socioeconomic strata agreed with this view.
Income-group disparities were also discovered in South Africa (a 14-percentage-point gap), Ukraine (a 11-percentage-point gap), Russia (a 11-percentage-point gap), and Malaysia (10 points).
In Mexico (10 points) and Chile (9 points), income-group gaps were slightly lower, and in both countries, strong majorities across all income categories endorsed a tolerant attitude toward homosexuality, according to the survey.
In Argentina, at least seven out of ten people are accepting of homosexuality, with lower-income respondents being somewhat more tolerant than higher-income respondents.
Report: People who are highly spiritual tend to be more civic-minded
— The Royal National Society (RNS) People who identify as highly spiritual are more likely to believe that it is vital to make a difference in their communities and to contribute to the greater good, according to the findings of a large new study on spirituality in America. According to the findings of the survey, “What Does Spirituality Mean to Us?,” 86 percent of Americans consider themselves to be spiritual in some way. Moreover, the study discovered that the greater the degree to which individuals define their spirituality via connection, whether with a higher power or with humanity as a whole, the more inclined they are to volunteer, contribute, and vote.
- The survey and focus groups were conducted in 2018 and 2019.
- (Fetzer has provided funding for initiatives run by the Religion News Service in the past.) Omar M.
- “Spirituality is not a solipsistic undertaking in which it is just about personal experience or elevation,” says the author.
- The Fetzer Institute provided the graphic.
- People expressed ambivalence regarding the link between spirituality and voting in focus groups, according to the survey, and were not convinced that the two should be related.
- Others said that it was a profane conduct rather than a spiritual observance.
- Spirituality is a rising subject of study in academia, especially when religious denominations and organizations lose their hold on people’s hearts and minds.
- People who describe themselves as religious and those who describe themselves as spiritual, according to Nancy Ammerman, professor emerita of sociology at Boston University and a reviewer for the study, share a great deal of characteristics in common.
Only 16 percent described themselves as “only spiritual,” while only 3 percent described themselves as “only religious.” Due to the fact that involvement in religious groups has been demonstrated to be one of the key drivers of civic engagement in several studies, it is unclear if spirituality or religion was driving individuals to take part in civic activities.
- “It’s framing things in terms of the influence of spirituality, but what’s underlying that spirituality is the engagement in religious groups, which nurtures and supports the spirituality,” says the researcher.
- The Fetzer Institute provided the graphic.
- The phrase is ambiguous and might refer to a variety of various topics.
- Common drawings included symbols of the natural world (trees, clouds), as well as peace, love, a heavenly entity, and relationships with people, among other things.
“It provides social scientists and others who are interested in this with a huge amount of material to work with that does not involve simply giving people a set of predetermined responses in which they must place themselves in different boxes, but rather allows people to speak for themselves about what spirituality means to them,” said Ruth Braunstein, a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut who served as an adviser to the study.
“It gives social scientists and others who are interested in this a huge amount of material to work with that does not In accordance with previous research, the Fetzer study discovered that spirituality had a favorable valence among the general population in the United States.
“As people grow older, they are becoming more spiritual.
“The more spiritual someone is, the more they strive to be spiritual,” says the author.
The quest and travel seem to be never-ending for people, and they tend to get deeper as time goes on.” (This story has been updated to reflect the correction.) Prof. emeritus Nancy Ammerman has retired from the Boston University faculty.)
Spirituality Can Improve Many Aspects of Your Life and Health
Spirituality is a wide notion that encompasses a belief in something greater than oneself. The belief in a higher power can be based on religious traditions, but it can also be based on a holistic belief in one’s connectedness to others and to the rest of the universe, as in the Buddhist tradition. People who practice spirituality hold to a worldview that says that there is more to existence than simply what they can perceive with their senses and bodies. Instead, it indicates that there is something bigger at work that ties all living things to one another and to the rest of the cosmos.
People from all walks of life have turned to spirituality and religious activities as a source of comfort and stress alleviation for centuries.
Signs of Spirituality
Spirituality is not limited to a specific path or set of beliefs. There are many different methods to experience spirituality, as well as many different advantages of having a spiritual encounter. For others, this may entail the acceptance of a higher power or the participation in a specific religious activity. Those who practice it may feel a sense of connection to a higher state, as well as a sense of interconnectedness with the rest of mankind and the natural world. Some indications of spirituality are as follows:
- The exploration of difficult themes like as pain and what occurs after death
- The development of deeper relationships with others
- The development of compassion and empathy for others Feelings of oneness are being experienced
- Awe and amazement
- A desire for pleasure that goes beyond money things or other outward rewards
- Awe and wonder
- Looking for meaning and purpose in life
- Wishing to make the world a better place
- And so forth.
Not everyone has the same spiritual experiences or displays their spirituality in the same manner. Spiritual experiences can occur in any element of one’s life for some people, while others are more prone to have these sensations under certain circumstances or in specific settings. Examples include persons who are more prone to have spiritual experiences in churches or other religious temples, as well as people who are more likely to have these sentiments when out enjoying the great outdoors.
Types of Spirituality
There are many various styles of spirituality, ranging from religious traditions to more secular approaches, and each has its own distinctive characteristics. Some of the most important types of spirituality are as follows:
- In terms of spirituality, there are several varieties to choose from, ranging from religious traditions to more secular approaches. There are many different types of spirituality, but here are few examples:
Keeping in mind that there are many different spiritual traditions that exist around the world, including traditional African and Indigenous spiritual practices, is critical to remembering this. When it comes to groups of people who have been subjugated to the impacts of colonialism, spiritual rituals like these might be particularly essential.
Keeping in mind that there are many different spiritual traditions that exist around the world, including traditional African and Indigenous spiritual practices, is critical to remembering.
Those who have been subjected to the impacts of colonialism may find such spiritual activities to be particularly meaningful to them.
- To discover one’s life’s purpose and meaning: Investigating spirituality can assist people in discovering answers to philosophical problems such as “what is the meaning of life?” and “what purpose does my life serve?” When dealing with stress, sadness, and anxiety, spiritual experiences can be quite beneficial
- Nevertheless, they should not be relied upon only for this purpose. In order to restore hope and optimism, spirituality can assist people in developing a more optimistic attitude on their lives. Because spiritual traditions are frequently associated with organized faiths or groups, being a member of one of these organizations may be an extremely valuable resource for finding social support.
Impact of Spirituality
Though spiritual beliefs and practices are a matter of personal conviction, science has established some of the advantages of spirituality and spiritual engagement. However, while the findings will come as no surprise to anybody who has found solace in their religious or spiritual beliefs, they are notable for the fact that they illustrate in a scientific manner that these activities are beneficial to a large number of individuals. More favorable discoveries relating to spirituality and its impact on physical and mental health include the following, among many others:
- Though religious beliefs and practices are a matter of personal conviction, science has established some of the advantages of spirituality and spiritual activities. No one who has found solace in their religious or spiritual beliefs will be surprised by the findings, but they are significant in that they illustrate in a scientific fashion that these activities are beneficial to a large number of individuals. The following are only a few examples of the numerous good studies connected to spirituality and its effect on physical and mental health.
It is possible, based on this and other research, that remaining involved with a spiritual group has concrete and long-term advantages. This connection, along with the thankfulness that often accompany spirituality, can act as a stress-relieving buffer, and it has been related to improved physical and mental wellbeing. Dedication to God or to a “higher force” resulted in reduced stress reactivity, improved emotions of well-being, and, in the end, even a lessened dread of death among participants.
Prayer is effective for both children and adults.
- Improvements in health
- Increased psychological well-being
- Decreased sadness
- Decreased hypertension
- Decreased stress, especially during difficult circumstances
- Increased pleasant sentiments Stress-resistance abilities that are above average
If you are rediscovering a long-forgotten spiritual path, reaffirming your devotion to an already well-established one, or seeking a new source of spiritual fulfillment, studying your spiritual side may be beneficial to your overall health and well being. It is important to remember that spirituality is a very personal experience, and that everyone’s spiritual path is different. However, according to research, some spiritual stress alleviation practices have proven to be beneficial to a wide range of people, independent of their religious beliefs.
- Consider your emotions: Part of adopting spirituality is accepting all aspects of being human, both the good and the terrible
- Pay attention to how you are feeling. Concentrate on others: Spirituality is characterized by the opening of your heart, the sense of empathy, and the willingness to serve others. Meditation: Make an effort to spend 10 to 15 minutes each morning engaging in some sort of meditation. Gratitude is something to cultivate: Create a thankfulness diary in which you may record things you are grateful for on a daily basis. As a result, it may serve as a wonderful reminder of what is most important to you and what offers you the most enjoyment. Try focusing on the present moment: You may become more aware and appreciative of the present moment if you practice mindfulness meditation. In order to be more mindful, you should try to be less judgemental (both toward yourself and toward others) and concentrate more on the current moment rather than lingering on the past or the future.
Press Play for Advice on Feeling More Complete
This episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, explores what it means to be ‘wholly human,’ and features GRAMMY Award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes. To listen to it right now, please click on the link below. Now is a good time to start: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and RSS are all options.
In terms of spirituality, one of the major pitfalls is a phenomena called as spiritual bypassing. This is characterized by a proclivity to utilize spirituality as a means of avoiding or sidestepping difficulties, emotions, and conflicts. As an example, rather than apologizing for any form of emotional damage you have caused someone else, you can choose to just excuse the situation by stating that “everything occurs for a reason” or recommending that the other person should “concentrate on the good” instead.
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- M. Akbari and S. M. Hossaini Spiritual health and quality of life, as well as emotional control and burnout: The mediating function of emotional regulation in this connection Iran 2018
- 13(1):22-31 in the Journal of Psychiatry. Whitehead BR, Bergeman CS
- PMID: 29892314
- Whitehead BR, Bergeman CS Coping with daily stress: The impact of spiritual experiences on daily positive and negative affect is different for men and women. J Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 2012
- 67(4):456-459. Manning LK, doi:10.1093/geronb/gbr136
- Geronb GB. Spirituality as a lived experience: Investigating the core of spirituality for women in their late thirties and forties. International Journal of Aging and Human Development (2012) 75(2):95-113. McMahon, B.T., and Biggs, H.C. doi:10.2190/AG.75.2.a. In this study, we will look at spirituality and innate religious orientation as a way of dealing with test anxiety. Health Vulnerability in a Changing Society. 2012
- 3 (1). Johnson KA, doi:10.3402/vgi.v3i0.14918, and others. Prayer may be a powerful tool in the rehabilitation from depression. J Relig Health 2018
- 57(6):2290-2300. J Relig Health 2018
- 57(6):2290-2300. Wachholtz AB, Sambamthoori U. doi:10.1007/s10943-018-0564-8
- Wachholtz AB, Sambamthoori U. Changes in national trends in the use of prayer as a coping method for depression from 2002 to 2007 are presented. Relig Health 2013
- 52(4):1356-68. J Relig Health 2013
- 52(4):1356-68. Gonçalves JP, Lucchetti G, Menezes PR, Vallada H
- Gonçalves JP, Lucchetti G, Menezes PR, Vallada H A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical studies on religious and spiritual therapies in mental health care. Journal of Psychological Medicine, 2015
- 45(14):2937-49. doi:10.1017/S0033291715001166.
Why Is Spirituality Important?
M. Akbari and S. M. Hossaini have published a paper in which they discuss their research. The link between spiritual health and quality of life, mental health, and burnout: The function of emotional regulation as a mediator. Iran 2018;13(1):22-31 in the Journal of Psychiatry In Whitehead BR and Bergeman CS (PMID: 29892314), they say Coping with daily stress: The impact of spiritual experiences on daily positive and negative effect is different for different people. J 2012;67(4):456-459. Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.
- Spirituality as a lived experience: Examining the core of spirituality for women in their late thirties and forties IJAHHD, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Volume 75, Number 2, Pages 95-113, 2012.
- Health Vulnerability in a Changing Society, 2012;3 (1).
- Wachholtz AB, Sambamthoori U; doi:10.1007/s10943-018-0564-8; Wachholtz AB, Sambamthoori U; Wachholtz AB Prayer as a coping method for depression has changed over the years, according to national patterns.
- Journal of Religious Health 2013;52(4):1356-68.
Contemplative practice is good for you.
Practices that help you to concentrate your attention to a specific focus—often an inward-looking reflection or concentration on a certain sensation or concept—are known as contemplative practices. The use of contemplative techniques to promote compassion, empathy, and attentiveness, as well as to quiet the mind has been practiced for thousands of years in many spiritual traditions.
- Meditation may help you feel peaceful and clear-headed, and it can also help you enhance your concentration and attention span. According to brain researcher Richard Davidson’s studies, meditation enhances the gray matter density of the brain, which can lower sensitivity to pain, strengthen your immune system, assist you in regulating tough emotions, and relieve stress. People suffering from depression and anxiety, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cardiovascular disease have all found mindfulness meditation to be beneficial. In addition to the relaxation response, prayer may evoke good emotions such as sentiments of hope, appreciation, and compassion, all of which are beneficial to one’s general well-being. There are many different styles of prayer, many of them are based on the concept that there is a higher power who has some sort of control over your life. There are various varieties of prayer. A sense of comfort and support can be provided by this belief in tough times—a recent research discovered that severely depressed persons who felt their prayers were heard by a caring presence reacted much better to therapy than those who did not believe
- Incorporating physical postures, ethical behavior, and breath expansion, yoga has been practiced for thousands of years to bring about a sense of unity inside the practitioner. Yoga has been shown to reduce inflammation and stress, as well as sadness and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and boost emotions of well-being when practiced regularly. In addition to journaling, which is frequently disregarded as a contemplative activity, it may assist you in being more aware of your inner life as well as feeling more connected to your experience and the surrounding world. According to research, writing through tough times might assist you in finding meaning in life’s struggles and being more resilient in the face of adversities.
Seven Ways to Improve Your Spiritual Health
Meditation may help you feel peaceful and clear-headed, and it can also help you enhance your concentration and focus. According to brain researcher Richard Davidson’s studies, meditation enhances the gray matter density of the brain, which can lower sensitivity to pain, boost your immune system, assist you in regulating tough emotions, and relieve stress. People suffering from depression and anxiety, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cardiovascular disease have all found mindfulness meditation to be beneficial; In addition to the relaxation response, prayer may produce good emotions such as sentiments of hope, thankfulness, and compassion, all of which have a favorable impact on one’s overall health and well-being When it comes to praying, there are several styles to choose from, many of them are based on the notion that there is a higher force who has some sort of control over your life.
A sense of comfort and support can be provided by this belief in tough times—a recent research discovered that severely depressed persons who felt their prayers were heard by a caring presence reacted much better to therapy than those who did not believe; Incorporating physical postures, ethical behavior, and breath expansion, yoga has been practiced for thousands of years to bring about a sense of unity within the practitioner.
Systematic yoga practice has been shown to reduce inflammation and stress, as well as sadness and anxiety.
In addition to journaling, which is frequently disregarded as a contemplative activity, it may assist you in being more aware of your inner life as well as feeling more connected to your experience and the surrounding environment.
It has been shown in studies that writing through tough times may help you find purpose in life’s struggles and become more resilient in the face of adversity
The truth about Gen Z and religion
SALT LAKE CITY — The city of Salt Lake City is home to the Utah Jazz. With religious services being held online, this may appear to be an ideal time for digital natives such as Generation Z to enter the religious stream. However, fresh evidence reveals that the inverse is taking place. According to the Pew Research Center, persons under the age of 30 are the least likely to participate in virtual worship. A similar pattern can be seen in recent data showing that, prior to the pandemic, teenagers aged 13 to 17 attended in-person religious services at rates comparable to their parents — but they were far less likely to pray.
People who belong to Generation Z (those who were born between 1997 and later) claim that they are hungry for spiritual interaction, but that the format in which they engage with God may be at odds with traditional ideals of worship.
“They’re getting more diverse in their religious beliefs.” In addition, others believe that Gen Z’s lack of religious membership and low rates of internet involvement should not be seen as a catastrophe, but rather as an opportunity for religious leaders to reconsider the way they conduct church – not just for young people, but for all people.
Showing up but not praying
Before the pandemic, according to a newly released study by the Pew Research Center, America’s teenagers attended religious services at rates that were nearly identical to those of their parents, with 44 percent of teens reporting that they attend services at least once a month and 43 percent of their parents reporting the same. Church attendance is comparable among adults and their adolescent children, but attitudes about organized religion are different across the two groups. Only 24 percent of students said religion is “extremely essential” in their life, compared to 43 percent of parents who said religion is “very important.” When asked if they pray every day, just 27 percent of students admitted to doing so, compared to 48 percent of parents who admitted to doing so.
As a result, experts advised against jumping to conclusions about whether Generation Z will reverse the nation’s secularization trend in the future.
The low level of involvement with virtual religious services among Generation Z is consistent with this research.
Only 38 percent of those aged 50 to 64 had used virtual services, compared to less than a third of those aged 30 to 49, and less than a quarter of those aged under 30 had used virtual services, according to the survey.
Spirituality and protesting
Those who deal directly with teenagers and young adults, on the other hand, argue that Generation Zers are just as spiritually inclined as previous generations. Eight out of ten teens believe “in God or a universal spirit,” according to the most recent Pew Research Center survey, with 77 percent stating they have a “strong sense of appreciation” at least once a month. When it comes to assessing Gen Z’s religiosity, Drescher believes that individuals must reconsider their conception of what constitutes a spiritual practice.
As Drescher says, “the majority of the polls ask questions such as ‘Do you believe in God or a higher power?’ and “Do you often attend worship services?” Despite the fact that the vast majority of Drescher’s students “identify as non-religious,” she says they “still search for social structures that convey community cohesiveness and shared values, as well as tales that provide shared meaning.” Many of Drescher’s pupils have discovered that “in a spiritually rich Black Lives Matter movement” and other social justice issues, they may find their place in the world.
Those who participated in Black Lives Matter rallies and marches this summer, according to Drescher, described their experience as “being a part of something that is transcending, that is greater than oneself,” and “being part of something that is bigger than oneself.” Moreover, they felt as though they were gathering with people who shared “similar convictions and viewpoints,” and that doing so represented “a meaningful method to effect change” – all of which sounds a lot like a religious experience to me.
As Drescher points out, “we’re witnessing the same kinds of things.” When it comes to the physical and social bodies, “things are occurring in the world in a manner that hasn’t happened as much in brick and mortar churches in recent years.” Drescher claims that young people’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement stems from a well of “moral and ethical hunger.” In addition to feeding and amplifying that need, she believes, social media plays a role.
Drescher explains that it all starts with social media making “the moral faults of society visible,” which causes young people to feel “an incarnational pull,” as Drescher puts it.
As far as Drescher is concerned, the fight for social, racial, and economic justice will not be completed any time soon.
Shifting to community
According to Dr. Heidi Campbell, a professor of media and religion at Texas A&M University and the author of “Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media Worlds,” the manner in which youth engage — or do not engage — in this virtual moment points to larger issues that churches should be grappling with right now. When the epidemic first broke out, religious organizations scrambled to go online, and many religious leaders felt that “if we do a televised version of our service, everything would be fine,” according to Campbell.
“It is not true that using social media increases social interaction in an area just because you use social media.” She goes on to say that religious leaders must “create a community that integrates technology.” “Having events, whether online or offline, does not automatically imply that you have a community.” And it appears that this is what is lacking in the efforts to pull Generation Z into the fold – a sense of belonging, involvement, and closeness.
“Some religious leaders have built a religion that is extremely event-based and experience-based, and not really community-based,” Campbell observed of some religious leaders.
Religious organizations, according to Campbell, should be “experimenting with new forms of gathering and meeting.
(including) small groups to discuss services online or over the phone.” In that paradigm, the emphasis is not on a certain preacher or event. As a result, the sermon “becomes a discussion point” on which a community might construct its foundation.
Spectator or participant
In a similar vein, Pastor Zach Lambert of Restore Austin, a nondenominational church, notes that since the epidemic began, student involvement has been strongest when a Black staff member held a Zoom conversation about racial prejudice, according to Pastor Zach Lambert. “There were a lot of young people on the call,” Lambert explains. “After COVID struck, that was virtually their only religious engagement since then.” Restore Austin was started in 2016 by Lambert, his wife, and another couple they met while attending seminary.
He was just 26 years old at the time.
“The internet has a completely different audience,” he explains.
I believe this is the reason for the decline in participation during COVID.” However, Lambert notes that, since the outbreak began, anytime Restore Austin hosts an online event that is both justice-oriented and participatory, “even though they’re online, we notice a significant increase in the number of young people engaging.” Restore Austin is a new approach to faith, in part because Lambert and the clergy have always hoped to accomplish this goal via their work.
- In his own words, they formed their church so that they could help those who had been disenfranchised by church or disillusioned by religion – people who had experienced “church hurt.” “We’re the church for folks who don’t particularly enjoy going to church,” Lambert jokes.
- The organization had set up shop at a middle school in downtown Austin on Sundays prior to the outbreak.
- Because the church does not have a physical location, Lambert is able to maintain the congregation’s attention on the “fundamental principles that Christians have held for thousands of years,” rather than on the building.
- The organization Restore Austin has had “modest but steady growth” during the previous four years, according to Lambert.
- Lambert adds that the majority of those individuals are millennials, with around a quarter belonging to Generation Z.
- However, Lambert’s personal experience supports Campbell’s observation that community and small groups are essential for engagement.
In the meanwhile, he says, “we’ve got some really dynamic little groups on Zoom.” “On Saturday nights, the participation of young people is far more than it is on Sunday mornings.”
A reason to believe
According to some psychologists, religious ideas are pathological, a term that dates back to Sigmund Freud. They regard religion as a cancerous social force that supports illogical thinking and repetitive habits. Of fact, psychologists’ reservations — as well as those expressed by many others throughout history — have done little to diminish religion’s tremendous hold on mankind today. Religion has been around for more than 100,000 years and continues to thrive today. Every culture has some form of religious belief, with more than 85 percent of the world’s population professing some form of religious belief.
It is becoming increasingly clear that religion may, in fact, be a byproduct of the way our brains function, arising from cognitive tendencies to seek order from chaos, to anthropomorphize our environment, and to believe that the world around us was created specifically for our benefit and enjoyment.
It’s difficult, says psychologist Justin Barrett, PhD, director of the cognition, religion, and theology project in the Centre for Anthropology and Mind at Oxford University, “to then build the case that religion is a pathology if we’re on the right track with this byproduct idea — and the findings are really starting to pile up.”
Predisposed to believe
According to Barrett, there is no single cognitive tendency that underpins all of our religious views. The impulse for religious beliefs, according to him, is “basically just your fundamental, garden-variety cognitive processes.” Those cognitions are linked by the fact that they cause us to perceive the world as a place with an intentional design, one that has been made by someone or something. According to a series of research conducted by Boston University psychologist Deborah Keleman, PhD, young children, for example, are more likely than adults to believe that even little components of the natural world were created with a purpose.
According to study, adults also seek significance in their lives, particularly during times of uncertainty.
According to the researchers, this study shows that people are predisposed to notice indications and patterns in the environment they live in.
As a result of his research, he has discovered that children as young as three years old naturally attribute supernatural abilities and immortality to “God,” even if they have never been taught about God, and that they tell elaborate stories about their lives prior to birth, which Barrett refers to as “pre-life.” We’re demonstrating that our fundamental cognitive equipment predisposes us to certain types of thinking, which results in beliefs in a pre-life, an afterlive and gods as well as the existence of invisible beings that are doing things — themes that are common to most of the world’s religions, according to Barrett.
This foundational equipment includes a memory system that appears to be unusually adept at recalling the types of narrative found in many religious texts, according to preliminary findings.
The memory of notions that ranged from obvious — a grazing cow — to mildly counterintuitive — a cursing frog — to exceedingly counterintuitive (a shrieking blossoming brick) was examined in one research published in 2006 in Cognitive Science(Vol.
As Norenzayan, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, explains, this finding was replicated in both American college students and Maya villagers from the Mexican Yucatan, indicating that stories with a few minimally counterintuitive elements, such as those found in many religious stories, are more easily remembered and, presumably more readily transmitted from person to person.
Instead, they were most likely used for other adaptive functions.
As Atran points out, it was probably preferable for us to make the incorrect assumption that the wind was actually a lion rather than ignore the rustling and endanger our lives in the process.
According to Atran, head of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, when taken together, it’s simple to understand how these cognitive tendencies may lead our minds to build religions based on the concept of supernatural entities that keep an eye on our every move.
People, according to psychologist Dr.
APA Division 36 President, Dr.
This work, if nothing else, serves to remind us that we are full persons, with biological and psychological as well as social, cultural, and spiritual aspects that are all interconnected.
According to Jordan Grafman, PhD, director of the cognitive neuroscience department at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, neuroscience research supports the premise that the brain is predisposed to believe. According to him, this inclination is widespread across the brain and is most likely the result of neuronal circuits that were originally designed for various purposes. According to Grafman, who will be joining the Kessler Foundation in West Orange, New Jersey, in January to direct a traumatic brain injury research laboratory, “the concept that there is a ‘God spot’ in the brain where religious ideas and sentiments develop has generally been dismissed.” Grafman performed an fMRI research in 2009 demonstrating that religious beliefs stimulate the part of the brain responsible for understanding the emotions and intentions of others — a skill known as theory of mind — when they are experienced.
- Grafman and his colleagues discovered that when participants heard phrases such as “God’s will guides my actions” and “God protects one’s life,” areas of the brain involved in theory of mind lit up.
- 106, No.
- Danish researchers discovered that the same brain regions were activated when religious individuals prayed in a 2009 study published in Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience(Vol.
- 2), according to the findings of the study.
- Furthermore, he asserts that contemplation is not restricted to religious thought, despite the fact that some traditions such as prayer or meditation may necessitate specific types of mental processes.
- What distinguishes religion from banal thoughts about one’s parents, according to University of Wisconsin psychologist Richard Davidson, PhD, are contemplative traditions such as meditation and prayer, which have the capacity to alter the way the brain is wired among frequent practitioners.
- In essence, meditation — and possibly any contemplative spiritual practice — increases attention while simultaneously turning off the parts of the brain that are preoccupied with one’s own thoughts and feelings.
ERN (error-related negativity) is a brain wave created by the anterior cingulate cortex that spikes when people make mistakes, and his research focuses on this brain wave in particular.
“When we make a mistake, it is stimulating and causes a little sense of worry.” Psychological Science(Vol.
3), published this year, examined the occurrence of this “uh-oh” response among persons who completed a typical color-naming Stroop task as part of his research.
“They’re more composed and elegant under pressure,” says Inzlicht of the women.
It was discovered that individuals who wrote about religion had a lower ERN response than those who wrote about something that made them joyful.
As a result of its ability to “explain” occurrences we don’t comprehend, religion, according to Inzlicht, may have a calming impact on individuals in general, making them more tranquil.
“This difference occurs in only a few hundredths of a second, but we believe it can lead to an entire lifetime of being calmer.” According to Plante, editor of the book “Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health,” these findings are consistent with a substantial body of research and clinical reports showing religious persons are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than the general population (APA, 2010).
In Plante’s words, “adaptive spiritual practices can operate as a counterbalance to anxiety and despair.” The possession of spiritual beliefs may also result in living a longer and better life.
According to psychologist Michael McCullough, PhD, of the University of Miami, Inzlicht’s study may give a partial explanation for these findings. Inzlicht is a professor of psychology at the university.
Religion, according to Norenzayan, may also serve an important function in that it permits people to exist in vast, cooperative communities. In fact, the employment of religion as a social tool may account for a significant portion of its longevity and cross-cultural prevalence. “Religion is one of the most significant solutions that human civilizations have discovered for causing unrelated persons to be pleasant to one another,” adds Norenzayan. Specifically, according to his findings, religion motivates individuals to be more philanthropic by encouraging believe in a divine entity that works to benefit all of humanity.
Another set of participants was tasked with the task of unscrambling religiously neutral terms.
Interestingly, the researchers discovered that people who were primed with religious sentiments contributed an average of $2.38 more than the other participants, on average.
He demonstrated that, when playing economic games with strangers, persons who engaged in a global religion were more fair toward strangers than people who did not participate in a world religion across 15 various nations.
This is because God is looking at you.” It is also consistent with the theoretical work of University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt, PhD, and his former graduate student Jesse Graham PhD, who is now an assistant professor at the University of Southern California.
They argue in a paper published in February in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review (Vol.
1) that religion and morality co-evolved as a method to link people together into big moral societies as they progressed through time.
Early religions employed rituals to publicly display their moral concerns, such as banning specific foods such as pig and dressing in attire to symbolize modesty, to demonstrate their moral concerns.
Those religious practices are still practiced today.
“While religion may bring people together in certain ways, it can also produce significant splits,” he adds.
Much of the world’s turmoil and bloodshed is caused by distrust, which is one of the reasons why the “new atheists,” notably evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, PhD, and neurologist Sam Harris, PhD, want religion to be eliminated entirely.
Norenzayan believes that secular communities established on a common moral foundation might be a viable alternative to religious communities.
Nonetheless, such communities will still require many of the components of religion, including the conviction that we are all members of the same moral community and, as a result, should make sacrifices that are beneficial to society in general.
“As the research matures and we incorporate other areas of psychology, I believe we’ll have a greater understanding of the nature of religion and where it could be headed,” says the researcher. Beth Azar is a writer who lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.