Religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth
- Professor Ludemann in his seminar spent some time on the psychology of the
disciples' response to Jesus' crucifixion (Resurrection of Christ, Chapter
4). Whereas Stevan Davies has traced the origin of Christianity to
possession experiences of Jesus, Ludemann traces it to the visionary
experiences of Peter and Paul. Ludemann describes this as "self-deception,"
and seems to regard it as pathological, although I can't find a precise quote.
Whether delusional or not, clearly the state of mind of the followers of
Jesus affected how the facts of Jesus' life, death and aftermath were
transmitted, amplified, or augmented, which has had a major influence on
how Christianity emerged in history. In that regard, the following article
might be of interest:
Mental Health, Religion & Culture
Publisher: Brunner-Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Issue: Volume 8, Number 1 / March 2005
Pages: 1 - 11
Religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth: a systematic review
Annick Shaw , Stephen Joseph , P. Alex Linley
University of Warwick Coventry UK
A search of the published literature identified 11 empirical studies that
reported links between religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth. A
review of these 11 studies produced three main findings. First, these
studies show that religion and spirituality are usually, although not
always, beneficial to people in dealing with the aftermath of trauma.
Second, that traumatic experiences can lead to a deepening of religion or
spirituality. Third, that positive religious coping, religious openness,
readiness to face existential questions, religious participation, and
intrinsic religiousness are typically associated with posttraumatic growth.
Important directions for future research are suggested that centre on the
need for more fine-grained analysis of religion and spirituality variables,
together with longitudinal research designs, that allow more detailed
exploration of the links between religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic
Perhaps one of our British colleagues can find a copy of this, and assess
its possible relevance?
Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
Northern Arizona University
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