Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Spirituality Related Abstracts

18 Evil Eye's Effects on Individual's Mental Health

Authors: Nikolaos Souvlakis

Abstract:

One of the prominent phenomena that have survived even in the 21st century, when science is gaining more and more space in the scientific world, is the evil eye within non-Westernized societies and more specifically in Greek culture. The presentation is based on the Christian Orthodox beliefs and folklore about the evil eye. Evil eye occupies an important role in individuals' everyday life and it is fuelled by Satanic powers. Satanic powers and the belief on them have an immense effect on individual's well-being and mental health causing spiritual suffering. The present paper examines the psychological manifestations of the belief of evil eye in individuals' mental health and the ways to protect from it according to the Greek Orthodox tradition.

Keywords: Mental Health, Well-being, Spirituality, belief, Healing, evil eye

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17 Lived Experience of Breast Cancer for Arab Muslim Women

Authors: Nesreen M. Alqaissi

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Little is known about the lived experiences of breast cancer among Arab Muslim women. The researcher used a qualitative interpretive phenomenological research design to explore the lived experiences of breast cancer as described by Jordanian Muslim women. A purposive sample of 20 women with breast cancer was recruited. Data were collected utilizing individual semi-structured interviews, and analyzed using Heideggerian Hermeneutical methodology. Results: Five related themes and one constitutive pattern: (a) breast cancer means death; (b) matriarchal family members as important source of support; (c) spirituality as a way to live and survive breast cancer; (d) concealing cancer experiences to protect self and families; (e) physicians as protectors and treatment decision makers; (f) the constitutive pattern: culture influencing Jordanian women experiences with breast cancer. In conclusion, researchers and healthcare providers should consider the influence of culture, spirituality, and families, when caring for women with breast cancer from Jordan.

Keywords: Culture, Breast Cancer, Spirituality, jordan, Arab Muslim, lived experiences

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16 How Does Spirituality Manifest in the Lives of Jordanian Patients in End Stage Renal Failure: A Phenomenological Study

Authors: A. Tamimi, S. Greatrex-White, A. Narayanasamy

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Background: Spirituality has been increasingly acknowledged in the nursing literature as an important element of holistic patient care. To date there have been numerous studies investigating the meaning of spirituality in Western cultures. Spirituality in Middle Eastern countries however remains under-researched. We will present a study which aimed to address this gap. Aim: The study aimed to explore how spirituality manifests in the lives of Jordanian End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF) patients. Methodology and Method: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was adopted informed by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Participants (n=27) were recruited from four different dialysis units: in a public hospital, a private hospital, an educational hospital and a refugee’s hospital in Jordan. Data was collected through in-depth unstructured interviews. Data Analysis: Analysis was guided by the tenets of hermeneutic phenomenology namely: gaining immediate sense of what was said both during and after each interview, transcribing data verbatim, translating interviews into the English language, intensive reading and re-reading, seeking meaning units by line to line coding, developing situated structures (how spirituality was manifest in each text), developing a general structure from the individual situated structures (how the phenomenon ‘spirituality’ comes into being). Findings: Three major themes emerged from analysis: Religion, Relationships and Desperation. We will argue that a ‘secular’ concept of spirituality had no meaning for the participants in the study. Spirituality is fundamentally part of religion and vice versa. Discussion: The findings may have consequences for the use of spirituality in multi-cultural settings in Western countries. Additionally, findings highlighted an important emphasis on the practice of spirituality, often underestimated in previous literature for Arab-Muslim Jordanian patients. Conclusion: The study findings contribute to the existing gap in knowledge regarding how Arab-Muslim Jordanian ESRF patients experience spirituality during their illness. It provides valuable insights into the importance of spirituality for this patient group and suggests how nurses, educators and policy makers might help address ESRF patients’ spiritual needs and provide appropriate spiritual care. We suggest the findings may have relevance beyond the Jordanian context in educating nurses’ on the importance of appreciating the religious dimension of spirituality.

Keywords: Nursing, Spirituality, muslim, jordan

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15 Religion, Health and Ageing: A Geroanthropological Study on Spiritual Dimensions of Well-Being among the Elderly Residing in Old Age Homes in Jallandher Punjab, India

Authors: A. Rohit Kumar, B. R. K. Pathak

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Background: Geroanthropology or the anthropology of ageing is a term which can be understood in terms of the anthropology of old age, old age within anthropology, and the anthropology of age. India is known as the land of spirituality and philosophy and is the birthplace of four major religions of the world namely Hinduasim, Buddhisim, Jainisim, and Sikhism. The most dominant religion in India today is Hinduism. About 80% of Indians are Hindus. Hinduism is a religion with a large number of Gods and Goddesses. Religion in India plays an important role at all life stages i.e. at birth, adulthood and particularly during old age. India is the second largest country in the world with 72 million elder persons above 60 years of age in 2001 as compared to china 127 million. The very concept of old age homes in India is new. The elderly people staying away from their homes, from their children or left to them is not considered to be a very happy situation. This paper deals with anthropology of ageing, religion and spirituality among the elderly residing in old age homes and tries to explain that how religion plays a vital role in the health of the elderly during old age. Methods: The data for the present paper was collected through both Qualitative and Quantitative methods. Old age homes located in Jallandher (Punjab) were selected for the present study. Age sixty was considered as a cut off age. Narratives, case studies were collected from 100 respondents residing in old age homes. The dominant religion in Punjab was found to be Sikhism and Hinduism while Jainism and Buddhism were found to be in minority. It was found that as one grows older the religiosity increases. Religiosity and sprituality was found to be directly proportional to ageing. Therefore religiosity and health were found to be connected. Results and Conclusion: Religion was found out to be a coping mechanism during ill health. The elderly living in old age homes were purposely selected for the study as the elderly in old age homes gets medical attention provided only by the old age home authorities. Moreover, the inmates in old age homes were of low socio-economic status couldn’t afford medical attention on their own. It was found that elderly who firmly believed in religion were found to be more satisfied with their health as compare to elderly who does not believe in religion at all. Belief in particular religion, God and godess had an impact on the health of the elderly.

Keywords: Ageing, Religion, Spirituality, geroanthropology

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14 Influence of Spirituality on Health Outcomes and General Well-Being in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease

Authors: Ali A Alshraifeen, Josie Evans, Kathleen Stoddart

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End-stage renal disease (ESRD) introduces physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual challenges into patients’ lives. Spirituality has been found to contribute to improved health outcomes, mainly in the areas of quality of life (QOL) and well-being. No studies exist to explore the influence of spirituality on the health outcomes and general well-being in patients with end-stage renal disease receiving hemodialysis (HD) treatment in Scotland. This study was conducted to explore spirituality in the daily lives of among these patients and how it may influence their QOL and general well-being. The study employed a qualitative method. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a sample of 21 patients. A thematic approach using Framework Analysis informed the qualitative data analysis. Participants were recruited from 11 dialysis units across four Health Boards in Scotland. The participants were regular patients attending the dialysis units three times per week. Four main themes emerged from the qualitative interviews: ‘Emotional and Psychological Turmoil’, ‘Life is Restricted’, ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Other Coping Strategies’. The findings suggest that patients’ QOL might be affected because of the physical challenges such as unremitting fatigue, disease unpredictability and being tied down to a dialysis machine, or the emotional and psychological challenges imposed by the disease into their lives such as wholesale changes, dialysis as a forced choice and having a sense of indebtedness. The findings also revealed that spirituality was an important coping strategy for the majority of participants who took part in the qualitative component (n=16). Different meanings of spirituality were identified including connection with God or Supernatural Being, connection with the self, others and nature/environment. Spirituality encouraged participants to accept their disease and offered them a sense of protection, instilled hope in them and helped them to maintain a positive attitude to carry on with their daily lives, which may have had a positive influence on their health outcomes and general well-being. The findings also revealed that humor was another coping strategy that helped to diffuse stress and anxiety for some participants and encouraged them to carry on with their lives. The findings from this study provide a significant contribution to a very limited body of work. The study contributes to our understanding of spirituality and how people receiving dialysis treatment use it to manage their daily lives. Spirituality is of particular interest due to its connection with health outcomes in patients with chronic illnesses. The link between spirituality and many chronic illnesses has gained some recognition, yet the identification of its influence on the health outcomes and well-being in patients with ESRD is still evolving. There is a need to understand patients’ experiences and examine the factors that influence their QOL and well-being to ensure that the services available are adequately tailored to them. Hence, further research is required to obtain a better understanding of the influence of spirituality on the health outcomes and general well-being of patients with ESRD.

Keywords: Quality of Life, Spirituality, end-stage renal disease, general well-being

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13 A Phenomenological Inquiry on the Spirituality of Young Filipino Gay Men Living with HIV

Authors: Dela Cruz Abraham, Bachoco Janine

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Spirituality plays a central role among patients dealing with HIV mostly on the LGBT community in the world today particularly in the Philippines. This study seeks to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in LGBT psychology particularly on gay men living with HIV and their spiritual aspect. In line with this, the researchers aim to describe (1) how young Filipino gay men relate their experiences as an HIV-positive in relations to their self and significant others (partners, family, friends and community); (2) how young Filipino gay men make sense of their experiences as an HIV-positive, in connection to God, this also includes their meaning making and purpose of their life experiences. To recruit participants, the researchers will employ purposive sampling using snowball technique, and conduct a semi-structured interview. Verbatim transcriptions of the participant will be analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Keywords: Spirituality, interpretative phenomenological analysis, living with HIV, young Filipino gay men

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12 A Comparative Study of Spirituality and Psychological Well-Being among Senior Secondary Male and Female Students

Authors: Farzana Parveen, Shahina Maqbool

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Nowadays most of the researchers focused on adolescents that were the most crucial and critical stage of their life’s. In this study, we want to know to what extent does spirituality and psychological well-being plays a vital role in adolescent’s life, and to what extent both were correlated. The first objective of the present study is to examine difference between the mean scores of male and female students on spirituality and Psychological well-being. The second objective of this study is to find out the relationship between Spirituality and Psychological Well-being. The participants of the present study comprised N=100 students who are further divided n=50 male and n=50 female and they were from senior secondary schools and recruited from Metropolitan cities, their age ranged from 13 to 18 years. Data were collected through Spirituality questionnaire and Psychological well-being questionnaire. Results showed that there was insignificant difference between male and female students on spirituality and significant difference between male and female students on psychological well-being. Relationship showed that there was positive correlation between spirituality and psychological well-being. Result was analyzed by SPSS version 20.0 software. Insignificant difference was found between males and females students on Spirituality and significant difference showed between males and females students on Psychological well-being. There was positive correlation between Spirituality and psychological well-being.

Keywords: Spirituality, students, psychological well-being, male and female

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11 Impact of Positive Psychology Education and Interventions on Well-Being: A Study of Students Engaged in Pastoral Care

Authors: Inna R. Edara, Haw-Lin Wu

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Positive psychology investigates human strengths and virtues and promotes well-being. Relying on this assumption, positive interventions have been continuously designed to build pleasure and happiness, joy and contentment, engagement and meaning, hope and optimism, satisfaction and gratitude, spirituality, and various other positive measures of well-being. In line with this model of positive psychology and interventions, this study investigated certain measures of well-being in a group of 45 students enrolled in an 18-week positive psychology course and simultaneously engaged in service-oriented interventions that they chose for themselves based on the course content and individual interests. Students’ well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the course. The well-being indicators included positive automatic thoughts, optimism and hope, satisfaction with life, and spirituality. A paired-samples t-test conducted to evaluate the impact of class content and service-oriented interventions on students’ scores of well-being indicators indicated statistically significant increase from pre-class to post-class scores. There were also significant gender differences in post-course well-being scores, with females having higher levels of well-being than males. A two-way between groups analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction effect of age by gender on the post-course well-being scores, with females in the age group of 56-65 having the highest scores of well-being in comparison to the males in the same age group. Regression analyses indicated that positive automatic thought significantly predicted hope and satisfaction with life in the pre-course analysis. In the post-course regression analysis, spiritual transcendence made a significant contribution to optimism, and positive automatic thought made a significant contribution to both hope and satisfaction with life. Finally, a significant test between pre-course and post-course regression coefficients indicated that the regression coefficients at pre-course were significantly different from post-course coefficients, suggesting that the positive psychology course and the interventions were helpful in raising the levels of well-being. The overall results suggest a substantial increase in the participants’ well-being scores after engaging in the positive-oriented interventions, implying a need for designing more positive interventions in education to promote well-being.  

Keywords: Well-being, Spirituality, hope, optimism, positive automatic thoughts, satisfaction with life

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10 An Unusual Manifestation of Spirituality: Kamppi Chapel of Helsinki

Authors: Emine Umran Topcu

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In both urban design and architecture, the primary goal is considered to be looking for ways in which people feel and think about space and place. Humans, in general, see a place as security and space as freedom and feel attached to place and long for space. Contemporary urban design manifests itself by addressing basic physical and psychological human needs. Not much attention is paid to transcendence. There seems to be a gap in the hierarchy of human needs. Usually, social aspects of public space are addressed through urban design. More personal and intimately scaled needs of an individual are neglected. How does built form contribute to an individual’s growth, contemplation, and exploration? In other words, a greater meaning in the immediate environment. Architects love to talk about meaning, poetics, attachment and other ethereal aspects of space that are not visible attributes of places. This paper aims at describing spirituality through built form with a personal experience of Kamppi Chapel of Helsinki. Experience covers various modes through which a person unfolds or constructs reality. Perception, sensation, emotion, and thought can be counted as for these modes. To experience is to get to know. What can be known is a construct of experience. Feelings and thoughts about space and place are very complex in human beings. They grow out of life experiences. The author had the chance of visiting Kamppi Chapel in April 2017, out of which the experience grew. The Kamppi Chapel is located on the South side of the busy Narinnka Square in central Helsinki. It offers a place to quiet down and compose oneself in a most lively urban space. With its curved wooden facade, the small building looks more like a museum than a chapel. It can be called a museum for contemplation. With its gently shaped interior, it embraces visitors and shields them from the hustle bustle of the city outside. Places of worship in all faiths signify sacred power. The author, having origins in a part of the world where domes and minarets dominate the cityscape, was impressed by the size and the architectural visibility of the Chapel. Anyone born and trained in such a tradition shares the inherent values and psychological mechanisms of spirituality, sacredness and the modest realities of their environment. Spirituality in all cultural traditions has not been analyzed and reinterpreted in new conceptual frameworks. Fundamentalists may reject this positivist attitude, but Kamppi Chapel as it stands does not look like it has a say like “I’m a model to be followed”. It just faces the task of representing a religious facility in an urban setting largely shaped by modern urban planning, which seems to the author as looking for a new definition of individual status. The quest between the established and the new is the demand for modern efficiency versus dogmatic rigidity. The architecture here has played a very promising and rewarding role for spirituality. The designers have been the translators for human desire for better life and aesthetic environment for an optimal satisfaction of local citizens and the visitors alike.

Keywords: Architecture, Urban, Spirituality, Kamppi Chapel

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9 Spirituality and Happiness among Youth: A Correlative Study

Authors: Harsh Shah

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Spirituality and happiness are two very important aspects of human life. After defining happiness, an attempt has been made in this paper to review research on the relationship between happiness and spirituality, and then to experimentally study their correlation among students aged between 18-24 years. The relation was assessed in 200 students from IIT Kharagpur, who rated their own spirituality, and happiness using the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) developed by Underwood, and the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) developed by Lyubomirsky and Lepper, respectively. Students who were more spiritual in general, were happier as well, and the Pearson Correlation Coefficient method gave a high positive correlation between happiness and spirituality.

Keywords: Depression, correlation, Religion, Youth, Spirituality, Happiness

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8 Spirituality, Sense of Community and Economic Welfare: A Case of Mawlynnong Village, India

Authors: Santi Gopal Maji, Ricky A. J. Syngkon

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Decent work and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection, eradication of poverty and hunger as well as clean water and sanitation are the rudiments of 2030 agenda of sustainable development goals of the United Nations. On the other hand, spirituality is deeply entwined in the fabric of daily lives that helps in shaping attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of common people and ensuring quality of lives and overall sustainable development through protection of environment and natural resources. Mawlynnong, a small village in North-Eastern part of India, is a vivid example of how spirituality influences the development of sense of community leading to upliftment of the economic conditions of the people. Mawlynnong as a small hamlet has been in existence for a couple of centuries and it was acknowledged as the cleanest village of Asia in 2004 by BBC and National Geographic and subsequently endorsed by UNESCO in 2006. Consequently, it has attracted large number of tourists over the years from India and other parts of the world. This paper tries to explore how spirituality leads to a sense of community and the economic benefits for the people. Further, this paper also tries to find out the answer whether such an informal collective effort is sustainable or not for achieving solidarity economy. The study is based on both primary and secondary data collected from the local people and the State Government records. The findings of the study indicate that over the last one and a half decade the tourist footfall has increased to a great extent in Mawlynnong and this has brought about a paradigm shift in the occupational structure of its inhabitants from plantation to service sector particularly tourism and tourism related activities. As a result, from the economic standpoint, it is observed that life is much better off now as compared to before. But from the socio-cultural standpoint, the study finds a drift in terms of the cohesiveness and community bonding which was the hallmark of this village. This drift puts a question mark about the sustainability of such practices and consequently the development of solidarity economy.

Keywords: Spirituality, Economic Welfare, sense of community, solidarity economy, Mawlynnong village

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7 The Implications of Person-Organisation Spirituality Fit on Employees’ Ethical and Spiritual Leadership Behaviours: Insights from Jordan

Authors: Tamer Koburtay, Radi Haloub

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Person-Organization fit theory concerns how people flourish in a workplace that is congruence with their values and other traits. This paper seeks to highlight the theoretical relevance that workplace spirituality may add to the existing theory development of the P-O fit. In specific, it aims to empirically test the emerged framework that encompasses how workplace and self-spirituality match may enhance the perceived P-O fit, and how such a fit can enhance both employees’ ethical behaviors (i.e., humanism and honesty) and spiritual leadership behaviors. Drawing on a survey of the private and public sectors in Jordan, the results reveal that increasing the match in workplace and employees’ spirituality positively enhances the perceived P-O fit. Further, ethical and spiritual behaviors were found to be positively linked with a higher P-O fit. The importance of this paper is by generating a concept (i.e., P-O spirituality fit) beyond the already vast literature on P-O fit.

Keywords: Leadership, Spirituality, ethical behavior, P-O fit

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6 Attributes of Gratitude in Promoting Purpose in Life of Thai Adolescents

Authors: Karnsunaphat Balthip, Bunrome Suwanphahu

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Purpose in life is one attribute of the concept of spirituality which is used in health promotion to promote holistic wellbeing. Purpose is a significant foundation of motivation and achievement that guides adolescents down positive life paths. Adolescents who have life purpose are more likely to achieve greater success and wellbeing in their lives. The current study used qualitative research methodology to describe the experiences that enhanced the purpose in life of 27 Thai adolescents from different backgrounds, living in urban areas in southern Thailand. Data were gathered through in-depth interviews and observation. Thematic analysis methods guided data analysis. The results showed that love and connectedness are important in enhancing purpose in life. They illustrate four attributes of love and connection reflecting the four attributes of gratitude that enhance purpose in life: (1) self-love, or gratitude to oneself, whereby participants endeavor to live life in a positive way by taking care of themselves based on moral and ethical values; (2) connectedness or gratitude to parents or significant others, whereby participants are committed to taking holistic care (physical, psychological, and spiritual) of their significant others; (3) connectedness or gratitude to peers, whereby participants support their peers to help them live their own lives in a positive way; and (4) connectedness or gratitude to the wider world (environment, society, nation and beyond), through a sense of altruism towards others. The findings provide helpful insights for parents, nurses, and other health professionals supporting adolescents to obtain a purpose in life.

Keywords: Adolescent, Spirituality, gratitude, purpose in life

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5 Witchcraft Belief and HIV/AIDS in Edo State, Nigeria: Implications for Health-Care

Authors: Celestina Omoso Isiramen

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The influence of witchcraft belief on disease causation, cure and public health system in Nigeria cannot be underrated. This paper investigated the nexus between witchcraft phenomenon and health-seeking behaviour of HIV sufferers in Edo state, Nigeria. Survey methodology was adopted and stratified random sampling technique was employed in the selection of 600 sample group spread into 200 HIV sufferers, 200 spiritual healers and 200 bio-medics from the three Senatorial districts of the state. Data were collected through the use of structured questionnaire and in-dept interview and analyzed using simple percentage and frequency. Major findings were: belief in witchcraft significantly influenced the people’s perception of HIV causation and wellness and this impacted adversely on public health-care. Poverty, ignorance and dearth of retroviral drugs enhanced the people’s recourse to spiritual healers. Collaboration between spiritual healing techniques and biomedicine was recommended as panacea for curbing HIV/AIDS related morbidity and mortality. It concluded that socio-economic problems must be addressed while the importance of integrating the values of spiritual healing into biomedicine cannot be overstressed.

Keywords: Biomedicine, Health Care, HIV/AIDS, Spirituality, witchcraft

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4 The Accuracy of Measures for Screening Adults for Spiritual Suffering in Health Care Settings: A Systematic Review

Authors: Sayna Bahraini, Wendy Gifford, Ian Graham, Liquaa Wazni, Suzettee Bremault-Phillips, Rebekah Hackbusch, Catrine Demers, Mary Egan

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Objective: Guidelines for palliative and spiritual care emphasize the importance of screening patients for spiritual suffering. The aim of this review was to synthesize the research evidence on the accuracy of measures used to screen adults for spiritual suffering. Methods: A systematic review has been conducted. We searched five scientific databases to identify relevant articles. Two independent reviewers screened extracted data and assessed study methodological quality. Results: We identified five articles that yielded information on 24 spiritual screening measures. Among all identified measures, the 2-item Meaning/Joy & Self-Described Struggle has the highest sensitivity (82-87%), and the revised Rush protocol has the highest specificity (81-90%). The methodological quality of all included studies was low. Significance of Results: While most of the identified spiritual screening measures are brief (comprise 1 to 12 number of items), few have sufficient accuracy to effectively screen patients for spiritual suffering. We advise clinicians to use their critical appraisal skills and clinical judgment when selecting and using any of the identified measures to screen for spiritual suffering.

Keywords: Screening, Spirituality, systematic review, suffering, diagnostic test accuracy

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3 Mindfulness in a Secular Age: Framing and Contextualising the Conversation in the Irish Context

Authors: Thomas P. Carroll

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The phenomenon of mindfulness has become ever more popular in an increasingly pluralist Western society. Mindfulness practice has penetrated secular contexts that would otherwise be closed to religious influence, including state schools, hospitals, and commerce. The contemporary understanding of mindfulness has its origins in Buddhist meditation. However, since Jon Kabat-Zinn’s pioneering work in Mindfulness-Based Interventions, the concept has developed and sometimes mutated into various forms of practice which are disembedded from their original spiritual philosophy. This project will explore the spiritual climate within which mindfulness is currently flourishing through dialogue with three interlocutors. The first interlocutor is the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor whose seminal work, ‘A Secular Age’, outlines three distinct modes of secularity. Taylor examines how the conditions of belief have changed and how the self seeks meaning in an age where belief in the divine is no longer axiomatic. The next interlocutor is Czech theologian and psychotherapist Tomáš Halík who offers a unique perspective of a Catholic who belongs to a section of society outnumbered by secular counterparts, with a theological hermeneutic best described as 'Den Fremden verstehen- understanding the stranger'. Finally, Irish theologian Michael Paul Gallagher offers a theological perspective on how the Christian faith can be translated into dialogue with Irish secular culture, as well as addressing the crisis of imagination and culture rather than the crisis of faith in Ireland. These interlocutors will illustrate that there are sometimes striking differences in how to interpret the religious signs of the times. However, these approaches also reveal significant similarities in how they address and explore the meaning of religious belief and experience today. In this way, themes will emerge that will help to frame the conversation about mindfulness in the West. These themes will include; the failure of the secularization thesis to pass, the growth of a diverse marketplace of religions and beliefs and the growth of a demographic who identify as spiritual but not religious. Such research is paramount in enabling a richer dialogue between Christian faith and mindfulness in a fragmented, postmodern Western context.

Keywords: Secularism, Culture, Spirituality, Mindfulness

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2 The Power of Spirituality: The Experience of the Swiss Bethlehem Mission Society in Taiwan

Authors: Weihsuan Lin

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The Swiss Bethlehem Mission Society (BMS) in Taiwan has influenced and made an important contribution to religion and social work in Taidong. This German-speaking Catholic missionary society is located in Taidong, which is the political and economic periphery of Taiwan but is the cultural center of the Chinese and many different Austronesian ethnic groups, including Amis, Paiwan, Puyuma, Yami, Bunun, and Rukai. Through document analysis and fieldwork, this research aims to explore the result of the confrontation, exchange, and innovation between the BMS and other ethnic groups. Further, based upon Michael Foucault’s discussion of two modalities of constructing individuals, namely ‘discipline’ and ‘care of the self,’ this research will analyze the ‘discipline’ and ‘care of the self’ mechanisms of and between BMS Fathers, Brothers, and Church followers at the scale of individuals. At the scale of groups, the ‘autonomy’ and ‘been governed’ of the BMS in relationship to the Catholic Church in Taiwan and the world will also be examined.

Keywords: Spirituality, Foucault, Bethlehem Mission Society, Religion and Geography

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1 Role of Symbolism in the Journey towards Spirituality: A Case Study of Mosque Architecture in Bahrain

Authors: Ayesha Agha Shah

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The purpose of a mosque or a place of worship is to build a spiritual relation with God. If the sense of spirituality is not achieved, then sacred architecture appears to be lacking depth. Form and space play a significant role to enhance the architectural quality to impart a divine feel to a place. To achieve this divine feeling, form and space, and unity of opposites, either abstract or symbolic can be employed. It is challenging to imbue the emptiness of a space with qualitative experience. Mosque architecture mostly entails traditional forms and design typology. This approach for Muslim worship produces distinct landmarks in the urban neighborhoods of Muslim societies, while creating a great sense of spirituality. The universal symbolic characters in the mosque architecture had prototype geometrical forms for a long time in history. However, modern mosques have deviated from this approach to employ different built elements and symbolism, which are often hard to be identified as related to mosques or even as Islamic. This research aims to explore the sense of spirituality in modern mosques and questions whether the modification of geometrical features produce spirituality in the same manner. The research also seeks to investigate the role of ‘geometry’ in the modern mosque architecture. The research employs the analytical study of some modern mosque examples in the Kingdom of Bahrain, reflecting on the geometry and symbolism adopted in the new mosque architecture design. It buttresses the analysis by the engagement of people’s perceptions derived using a survey of opinions. The research expects to see the significance of geometrical architectural elements in the mosque designs. It will find answers to the questions such as; what is the role of the form of the mosque, interior spaces and the effect of the modified symbolic features in the modern mosque design? How can the symbolic geometry, forms and spaces of a mosque invite a believer to leave the worldly environment behind and move towards spirituality?

Keywords: Geometry, Symbolism, Spirituality, Mosque Architecture

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