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Religions, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2016) – 6 articles

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Conference Report
Protocol of Taste and See: A Feasibility Study of a Church-Based, Healthy, Intuitive Eating Programme
Religions 2016, 7(4), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7040041 - 22 Apr 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3558
Abstract
Obesity treatment remains a high global priority. Evidence suggests holistic approaches, which include a religious element, are promising. Most research is from the USA, but recent evidence suggests a need within the UK population. The aim of this study is to explore the [...] Read more.
Obesity treatment remains a high global priority. Evidence suggests holistic approaches, which include a religious element, are promising. Most research is from the USA, but recent evidence suggests a need within the UK population. The aim of this study is to explore the feasibility of running and evaluating a Christian-based, healthy, intuitive-eating programme, in a UK church. This is the protocol of a mixed-methods single-group feasibility study of a ten-week programme. The programme focuses on breaking the “diet and weight regain” cycle using principles from intuitive eating uniquely combined with biblical principles of love, freedom, responsibility, forgiveness, and spiritual need. We will recruit at least ten adult participants who are obese, overweight, or of a healthy weight with problematic eating behaviours. Participants can be from any faith or none. Robust measures of physical, psychological and spiritual outcomes will be used. Results are not yet available. Findings will be used to design a cluster-randomised controlled trial to test efficacy through many churches. If weight reduces by a small amount, there will be substantial benefits to public health. With a strong association between obesity and mental-ill health, a holistic intervention is particularly important. Using churches addresses religious and spiritual health, and uses existing social structures and a voluntary workforce that are sustainable and cost-effective. Full article
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Article
Moral and Cultural Awareness in Emerging Adulthood: Preparing for Multi-Faith Workplaces
Religions 2016, 7(4), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7040040 - 15 Apr 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3089
Abstract
The study evaluates a pilot course designed to respond to findings from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) and similar findings reporting changes in U.S. life course development and religious participation through an intervention based on sociological theories of morality. The [...] Read more.
The study evaluates a pilot course designed to respond to findings from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) and similar findings reporting changes in U.S. life course development and religious participation through an intervention based on sociological theories of morality. The purpose of the study is to investigate the impacts of a business course in a public university designed to prepare emerging adults for culturally and religiously diverse workplaces. The intended outcomes are for students to better identify their personal moral values, while also gaining cultural awareness of the moral values in six different value systems: five major world religions and secular humanism. The study response rate was 97 percent (n = 109). Pre- and post-test survey data analyze changes in the reports of students enrolled in the course (primary group) compared to students in similar courses but without an emphasis on morality (controls). Qualitative data include survey short answer questions, personal mission statements, and student essays describing course impacts. Quantitative and qualitative results indicate reported increases in identification of personal moral values and cultural awareness of other moral values, providing initial evidence that the course helps prepare emerging adults for multi-faith workplaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth, Emerging Adults, Faith, and Giving)
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Commentary
A Commentary on Michael King. “The Challenge of Research into Religion and Spirituality.” Journal for the Study of Spirituality 4 (2014): 106–20
Religions 2016, 7(4), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7040039 - 12 Apr 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2423
Abstract
King’s publication based on a key note presentation at the 2014 British Association of the Study of Spirituality (BASS) conference, a well written and thought provoking paper, leads us to consider the contribution of this critique of spirituality research to contemporary debates on [...] Read more.
King’s publication based on a key note presentation at the 2014 British Association of the Study of Spirituality (BASS) conference, a well written and thought provoking paper, leads us to consider the contribution of this critique of spirituality research to contemporary debates on the topic The views expressed within the paper are important and foster debate about the validity of research in the field of spirituality and religion. However, at the same time, this debate is reminiscent of the negative responses sometimes expressed about research publications in this field. At the same time, it must be recognised that there is a view held that there is an extra yard stick required for researchers in this field, who can be subjected to much higher standards and expectations than other researchers simply because of the topic and the deep seated conflicting views that advocates and critics hold. This paper considers the merits and challenges of this paper in light of this. Full article
Article
The Changing Landscape of Sacred Groves in Kerala (India): A Critical View on the Role of Religion in Nature Conservation
Religions 2016, 7(4), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7040038 - 09 Apr 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2546
Abstract
Sacred groves are an age-old and world-wide phenomenon, traditionally consisting of forest zones, protected by people based on their spiritual relationship with the deities or ancestral spirits believed to reside there. India alone counts nearly 50,000 sacred groves, with 2000 in Kerala where [...] Read more.
Sacred groves are an age-old and world-wide phenomenon, traditionally consisting of forest zones, protected by people based on their spiritual relationship with the deities or ancestral spirits believed to reside there. India alone counts nearly 50,000 sacred groves, with 2000 in Kerala where they are known as kaavu. Presently, the sacred groves are under serious threat with numbers of groves reducing drastically. In this article, the authors challenge one of the dominant theories that sacred groves, while previously protected by religion, now disappear due to the loss of traditional beliefs. Starting from the observation that the destruction of sacred groves has less to do with a loss of faith but more with a change of faith, the article focuses on the ambivalent role of religion and the impact the commercial offer of some specific Hindu rituals has on the declining number of sacred groves. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork among grove-owners in Kerala, the authors argue that it may be true that religious perceptions maintained the sacred groves for centuries, but that the same religious tradition now provides both justifications and marketable rituals for cutting them down. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Article
The Impact of Religiosity on Tax Compliance among Turkish Self-Employed Taxpayers
Religions 2016, 7(4), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7040037 - 06 Apr 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2958
Abstract
The aim of this study is to explore the impact between religiosity and voluntary tax compliance and enforced tax compliance for self-employed taxpayers in Turkey, where Islam is the predominant religion. A questionnaire survey was administrated to 375 male and 28 female self-employed [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to explore the impact between religiosity and voluntary tax compliance and enforced tax compliance for self-employed taxpayers in Turkey, where Islam is the predominant religion. A questionnaire survey was administrated to 375 male and 28 female self-employed taxpayers. In this paper, two dimensions of religiosity, namely interpersonal and intrapersonal religiosity, were studied. Factor analysis and ordinary least squares regression methods were used for data analyses. The results of the study illustrate that general religiosity has a statistically positive impact on both voluntary and enforced tax compliance. When we consider the dimensions of religiosity, only intrapersonal religiosity appears to be a significant contributor only to voluntary tax compliance. Nevertheless, interpersonal religiosity has no significant statistical effect on both voluntary and enforced tax compliance. This is one of the pioneer studies of its kind, and investigates the relationship between religiosity and tax compliance from the perspective of developing countries, particularly, Turkey. Full article
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Article
Syncopated Beats and the History of Sadness: The Affective Fusion of Audience and Film through Music
Religions 2016, 7(4), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7040036 - 25 Mar 2016
Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Recent developments in the disciplines of cinema studies, theology, and religion and film have generated renewed interest in the experiential dimensions of filmgoing. More specifically, those contributing to theological scholarship have begun to explore these cinematic experiences as theologically significant. With these developments [...] Read more.
Recent developments in the disciplines of cinema studies, theology, and religion and film have generated renewed interest in the experiential dimensions of filmgoing. More specifically, those contributing to theological scholarship have begun to explore these cinematic experiences as theologically significant. With these developments in mind, this essay offers a close reading of the principal musical theme in the 2010 film Beginners, noting in particular the ways in which this music is distributed throughout the narrative. In doing so, it suggests that the music in this film expresses in concrete terms one of the key insights from emerging neuropsychological research, namely, that our affective, pre-cognitive, “wordless knowledge” of the world is the foundation upon which human consciousness is constructed. But the essay goes one step further by making an explicitly theological claim. That is, when located within the framework of a lived theology (i.e., a “poetic theology”), the film and its music shed light on the ways in which aesthetic modes of awareness (i.e., intuitive, embodied forms of knowledge) open up spaces in the contemporary world where our affections, the goods of late-modern society, and our spiritual longings are able to meet and interact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Film and Lived Theology)
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