The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Times of Crisis

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 9867

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Theology and Religious Education Department, De La Salle University, Manila 1004, Philippines
Interests: intercultural theology; empirical theology; psychology of religion; spirituality
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Guest Editor
College of Mount Saint Vincent, 6301 Riverdale Ave, The Bronx, New York, NY 10471, USA
Interests: cultural theory; multiculturalism; values; ethnic studies; immigration; philosophy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Religion and spirituality play a significant role in human existence (Koenig, 2012). Durkheim (1982) defined religion as "a system of beliefs and practices concerning sacred things". Spirituality, however, represents a search for and discovery of the transcendent (Koenig et al., 2012). While some argue that religion is irrelevant and spirituality is broad and difficult to define, some studies have attempted to redefine their meaning and investigate their effects on humanity. Some people find great comfort in the sacred and transcendent, and there have been scientific investigations into religion's/spirituality's effects on mental health and other health-related cases. There are, however, limited resources that explore the impact of religion and health during crisis situations.

This Special Issue will focus on the substantial role of religion/spirituality in human wellbeing, especially during times of crisis. Humans face many challenges every day, and throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people lost loved ones. Children who lost their parents to COVID-19 experienced trauma. The sudden death of loved ones led to feelings of abandonment. Burnout plagued healthcare workers and other responders, while others lost their jobs and became homeless as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, which disproportionately affected vulnerable populations. As a result, the gap between the rich and the poor widened. There are parts of the world in which millions of civilians continue to live in fear of war and rage, and this violence affects individuals’ physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Therefore, we hope to investigate the critical role religion and spirituality play in helping people cope with distressing situations.

Original articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to):

  • Religious coping;
  • Public health crisis;
  • Near-death experience;
  • War, inequality, and social issues;
  • War, inequality, and social issues;
  • Climate change and anthropocene;
  • Trauma, suffering, and injustices;
  • Disaster, calamities, and predicaments;
  • Turning points and crossroads.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Fides del Castillo
Prof. Dr. Ron Scapp
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • religion
  • spirituality
  • crisis
  • religiosity
  • religious coping
  • well-being

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 5214 KiB  
Article
Religion and Strategic Disaster Risk Management in the Better Normal: The Case of the Pagoda sa Wawa Fluvial Festival in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines
by Arvin Dineros Eballo and Mia Borromeo Eballo
Religions 2024, 15(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020223 - 16 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Religion involves expressing beliefs, performing practices, and obeying norms about what is considered sacred and worthy of worship. While some argue that religion has become irrelevant due to the widespread influence of secularism and scientific reasoning, many still find comfort in the sacred. [...] Read more.
Religion involves expressing beliefs, performing practices, and obeying norms about what is considered sacred and worthy of worship. While some argue that religion has become irrelevant due to the widespread influence of secularism and scientific reasoning, many still find comfort in the sacred. Scientific research has shown that religion can positively impact health and safety, especially during disasters. Accordingly, religion plays a crucial role in one’s wellbeing. In the Philippines, the sound of church bells calls for parishioners to gather and celebrate, and acts as a warning system for different types of danger, such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, raids, uprisings, and fires. Filipinos are warned to leave their houses and come to the church to take shelter. Thus, churches have been considered evacuation centers and loci for disaster risk-reduction undertakings. The proponents conducted a qualitative study investigating the disaster risk management strategies developed and implemented by St. Martin of Tours Parish Church in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines, during the “Pagoda sa Wawa” fluvial festival, where safety measures and crowd control are essential in maintaining a prayerful and peaceful experience. The objective of the study was to investigate how festival organizers prioritize the safety of devotees after a tragedy occurred 30 years ago, which resulted in the deaths of 266 people. Furthermore, this study explores the precautionary measures taken during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing devotees’ compliance and resilience for the common good. This study utilized a tripartite method, including reviewing relevant literature, participating in a pagoda fluvial parade, and conducting semi-structured interviews. The results were presented in a format that consisted of context, content, and challenges for the sake of coherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Times of Crisis)
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14 pages, 1174 KiB  
Article
Associations between Prayer and Mental Health among Christian Youth in the Philippines
by Fides A. Del Castillo, Clarence Darro B. Del Castillo and Harold George Koenig
Religions 2023, 14(6), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14060806 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6664
Abstract
Religion/Spirituality (R/S) has been associated with mental health. Although most Filipinos are Christian, little research has been done on how R/S affects their mental health. To address this research gap, an open-ended questionnaire was conducted on forty-three Filipino Christian youths regarding their thoughts, [...] Read more.
Religion/Spirituality (R/S) has been associated with mental health. Although most Filipinos are Christian, little research has been done on how R/S affects their mental health. To address this research gap, an open-ended questionnaire was conducted on forty-three Filipino Christian youths regarding their thoughts, motives, and emotions about private prayer. Responses were coded and analyzed with the qualitative data analysis software NVivo. A traditional coding method was also employed to contextualize the data. Results show that most respondents define prayer as a way to communicate with God and personally encounter the transcendent. In general, prayer was used to express gratitude, request something, seek guidance, ask for forgiveness, or find psychological comfort. In most cases, participants prayed when they were feeling down or troubled. The majority prayed in silence and with their eyes closed. Most respondents felt calm and relaxed when praying. Many respondents also noted that their conversation with God provided comfort, reassurance, and relief. A theoretical model of causal pathways for the effects of prayer on mental health was used to examine how Filipino Christian youths’ emotional health—a component of mental health—is affected by prayer. Research suggests that prayer guides many respondents in their decisions and life choices. Prayer also may evoke human virtues, such as gratitude, patience, and honesty. For many, prayer is critical to their cognitive appraisal of stressful events and serves as a coping resource. This study has important implications for R/S as a resource for mental well-being among youth in a country with limited mental health services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Times of Crisis)
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