The sacred and the search for significance: Religion as a unique process

Kenneth I. Pargament, Gina M. Magyar-Russell, Nichole A. Murray-Swank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although many social scientists have assumed that religion can be reduced to more basic processes, there may be something unique about religion. By definition, religion has a distinctively meaningful point of reference, the sacred. Empirically, studies also suggest that religion may be a unique: form of motivation; source of value and significance; contributor to mortality and health; source of coping; and source of distress. These findings point to the need for: theory and research on the sacred; attention to the pluralization of religious beliefs and practices; evaluation of individual and social interventions that address spiritual problems and apply spiritual resources to their resolution; and collaboration between psychological and religious groups that draws on their unique identities and strengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-687
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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