Approaches to the study of religion pdf


Although interest in religion among young people has increased markedly, research examining the impact of religion on child development has approaches to the study of religion pdf sorely lacking. This study is the first of its kind to use nationally representative data to explore the influence of religion on several different dimensions of psychological development and social adjustment in early childhood.

Significant religious effects are observed across a range of child development domains and are manifested for both parents’ ratings and teachers’ ratings of youngsters. Parental, couple, and familial religion are linked with youngsters’ pro-social behavior. However, religion can undermine child development when it is a source of conflict among families. The investigation concludes with a specification of implications and directions for future research. Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution.

This research was generously supported by a grant from the Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University. A version of this paper was presented at the 2004 annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta, Georgia. The authors claim full responsibility for all analyses and interpretations. Present address: Department of Sociology, University of Memphis, Clement Hall, Room 231 B, Memphis, TN 38152. Effects of birth order on personality are modest but not inexistent. However, studies do not often distinguish between two kinds of laterborns: middleborns and lastborns.

In addition, some evidence suggests effects of birth order on religion. In the present study, 122 young adults from three-sibling families completed the NEO-PI-R and gave information on religion and school performance. In most cases, effects were similar in self- and mother-evaluation. Since the 19th century, mystical experience has evolved as a distinctive concept. There is a longstanding discussion on the nature of socalled “introvertive mysticism.

Perennialists regard this kind of mysticism to be universal. A popular variant of perennialism sees various mystical traditions as pointing to one universal transcendental reality, for which those experiences offer the proof. However, these claims have not stood up to scrutiny. In mystical and contemplative traditions, mystical experiences are not a goal in themselves, but part of a larger path of self-transformation. Nature mysticism seems to refer to examples that do not fit into one of these two categories. Zaehner considers theistic mysticism to be superior to the other two categories, because of its appreciation of God, but also because of its strong moral imperative.

Natural mystical experiences are in Zaehner’s view of less value because they do not lead as directly to the virtues of charity and compassion. Zaehner is generally critical of what he sees as narcissistic tendencies in nature mysticism. Stace argues that doctrinal differences between religious traditions are inappropriate criteria when making cross-cultural comparisons of mystical experiences. Stace argues that mysticism is part of the process of perception, not interpretation, that is to say that the unity of mystical experiences is perceived, and only afterwards interpreted according to the perceiver’s background. This may result in different accounts of the same phenomenon. Stace’s key questions is whether there are a set of common characteristics to all mystical experiences.

Based on the study of religious texts, which he took as phenomenological descriptions of personal experiences, and excluding occult phenomena, visions, and voices, Stace distinguished two types of mystical experience, namely extrovertive and introvertive mysticism. The unity in extrovertive mysticism is with the totality of objects of perception. Stace finally argues that there is a set of seven common characteristics for each type of mystical experience, with many of them overlapping between the two types. Stace furthermore argues that extrovertive mystical experiences are on a lower level than introvertive mystical experiences.

According to Hood, the introvertive mystical experience may be a common core to mysticism independent of both culture and person, forming the basis of a “perennial psychology”. Stace’s criteria is identical across various samples. Although Stace’s work on mysticism received a positive response, it has also been strongly criticised in the 1970s and 1980s, for its lack of methodological rigueur and its perennialist pre-assumptions. Masson and Masson criticised Stace for using a “buried premise,” namely that mysticism can provide valid knowledge of the world, equal to science and logic. A similar criticism has been voiced by Jacob van Belzen toward Hood, noting that Hood validated the existence of a common core in mystical experiences, but based on a test which presupposes the existence of such a common core, noting that “the instrument used to verify Stace’s conceptualization of Stace is not independent of Stace, but based on him.

Belzen also notes that religion does not stand on its own, but is embedded in a cultural context, which should be taken into account. To this criticism Hood et al. Stace sought out texts which he recognized as an expression of mystical expression, from which he created his universal core. Hood therefor concludes that Belzen “is incorrect when he claims that items were presupposed.