SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: This study of the restorative benefits of visiting a house of worship was based on questionnaire responses by 781 participants. Factor analysis of motivations for visiting yielded five factors, three of which matched those from a previous study (spirituality, beauty, and being away) and two new ones (contemplation and obligation). Factor analysis of activities at a house of worship yielded four factors along a gradient corresponding roughly to degree of organized religious practice: rituals, traditional activities, asking, and nonreligious activities. Spirituality and asking (for help or forgiveness) were the strongest predictors of positive outcomes, whereas nonreligious activities predicted negative outcomes. The results support and extend Attention Restoration Theory. They indicate that a house of worship can provide a compatible setting for satisfying a spirituality motive and for the cognitive activity of asking which can aid in conserving and restoring directed attention as well as fostering meditation and reflection.
Abstract: In recent years, the potential of religions for fostering more sustainable consumer behaviors on the part of their adherents has often been invoked. This article provides an overview of research on Christianity and ecologically conscious, socially conscious, and frugal consumer behaviors. Previous research has focused mainly on ecologically conscious consumer behavior, reporting mixed findings, depending on the religion measures that are used. In an extension to this body of work, a U.K.-based survey examining religious influences on socially conscious and frugal consumer behaviors is reported. Weak positive relationships between general religion measures (dispositional religiousness, spirituality, religious service attendance, and Christian identification) and both types of consumer behavior were obtained, suggesting that religion does indeed foster sustainable consumer behaviors, albeit marginally. However, attempts to distinguish among consumer behaviors by means of God concepts were largely unfruitful. Future research needs to investigate the influence of specific religious beliefs about consumerism, wealth, and social justice on consumer behavior. An increased focus on action research would also be valuable.
Abstract: Social scientists have long debated the factors influencing public concern for the natural environment. This study attempts to contribute to this debate by arguing that environmental concern is shaped by both “spiritual” and “ecological” cultural models of nature-society relations and that by distinguishing between these two, we can better recognize the social sources of variation in concern for the environment. An analysis of questionnaire data from 21 nations from the 1993 International Social Survey Program using ordinary least squares regression models shows that spiritual and ecological environmental worldviews have different social bases. Education generally positively predicts the latter but not the former. Patterns of national differences are noteworthy as well. Thus, conceptualizing public concern for the environment in terms of distinct cultural models may be more revealing than focusing on environmental concern as such.
Abstract: Community and loss of community have received much scholarly attention, whereas community formation and placemaking have been less well studied. Similarly, several studies have documented the role of religion in the lives of new immigrants, but little has been written about religious placemaking and community formation. Through an empirical study of a new immigrant group—the Hindus of Southern California—this article shows how religious placemaking helped build community. It details three salient components, namely, place planning and organization, place design, and place rituals, and also how these helped form and sustain community. It describes some challenges encountered and strategies used to negotiate, mitigate, or minimize them. In providing these delineations, it shows how religio loci and place nostalgia influenced and aided community building.
Journal Article 5: King, P. E., Clardy, C. E., & Ramos, J. S. (2013). Adolescent spiritual exemplars: Exploring spirituality in the lives of diverse youth. Journal of Adolescent Research, 29(2), 186-212.
Abstract: This qualitative study aimed to develop theory about psychological constructs relevant to spiritual development in diverse adolescents. Exemplar and Consensual Qualitative Research methods were used to explore 30 interviews of adolescents aged 12 to 21 years (M = 17.73 years) representing eight religions and six countries from around the world. Participants were nominated for living with profound spirituality within their own culture and completed semistructured interviews in their country of origin. After several iterations of analysis, participants’ discussions of spirituality in their lives were explored in terms of three dimensions of spirituality present in their lives: transcendence, fidelity, and behavior. Findings are considered in light of existing developmental theory, and implications for adolescent development are discussed.