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AUTHORS' RESPONSES: Is Religion Nothing But. ..? Explaining Religion Versus Explaining Religion Away

AUTHORS' RESPONSES: Is Religion Nothing But. ..? Explaining Religion Versus Explaining... What accounts for the links between religion and health and well-being? This question was central to the commentators' responses to the target articles. Many of the commentators provided fresh new ways of explaining religion in psychological, social, physiological, and evolutionary terms. A few, however, came perilously close to the slippery slope of radical reductionism. In this article, I argue that religion is, by definition, unique, for it has a singular point of reference, the sacred. In addition, I review empirical studies assessing the independent predictive power of religion; they suggest that religion is a unique source of motivation and values, a unique form of coping, and a unique source of distress. Finally, I contend that social scientists should learn more about the connections between religion and health and well-being, not to explain religion away, but to gain a more complete understanding of religion and human nature more generally. Researchers should remember that religion represents not only a resource for psychological well-being and physical health, but a distinctive human dimension that carries meaning and power in and of itself. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychological Inquiry Taylor & Francis

AUTHORS' RESPONSES: Is Religion Nothing But. ..? Explaining Religion Versus Explaining Religion Away

Psychological Inquiry , Volume 13 (3): 6 – Jul 1, 2002

AUTHORS' RESPONSES: Is Religion Nothing But. ..? Explaining Religion Versus Explaining Religion Away

Psychological Inquiry , Volume 13 (3): 6 – Jul 1, 2002

Abstract

What accounts for the links between religion and health and well-being? This question was central to the commentators' responses to the target articles. Many of the commentators provided fresh new ways of explaining religion in psychological, social, physiological, and evolutionary terms. A few, however, came perilously close to the slippery slope of radical reductionism. In this article, I argue that religion is, by definition, unique, for it has a singular point of reference, the sacred. In addition, I review empirical studies assessing the independent predictive power of religion; they suggest that religion is a unique source of motivation and values, a unique form of coping, and a unique source of distress. Finally, I contend that social scientists should learn more about the connections between religion and health and well-being, not to explain religion away, but to gain a more complete understanding of religion and human nature more generally. Researchers should remember that religion represents not only a resource for psychological well-being and physical health, but a distinctive human dimension that carries meaning and power in and of itself.

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References (24)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1532-7965
eISSN
1047-840X
DOI
10.1207/S15327965PLI1303_06
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

What accounts for the links between religion and health and well-being? This question was central to the commentators' responses to the target articles. Many of the commentators provided fresh new ways of explaining religion in psychological, social, physiological, and evolutionary terms. A few, however, came perilously close to the slippery slope of radical reductionism. In this article, I argue that religion is, by definition, unique, for it has a singular point of reference, the sacred. In addition, I review empirical studies assessing the independent predictive power of religion; they suggest that religion is a unique source of motivation and values, a unique form of coping, and a unique source of distress. Finally, I contend that social scientists should learn more about the connections between religion and health and well-being, not to explain religion away, but to gain a more complete understanding of religion and human nature more generally. Researchers should remember that religion represents not only a resource for psychological well-being and physical health, but a distinctive human dimension that carries meaning and power in and of itself.

Journal

Psychological InquiryTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 2002

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