The Theory Of Religion And Spirituality

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A Gallup poll indicated that religion is a “very important” part of the lives of approximately 67% of the American public, of whom 96% believe in God and 42% attend religious services regularly (Powell, Shahabi, & Thoresen, 2003). People join religious institutions and follow spiritual paths for a variety of reasons, such as faith, prayer, social support, cultural traditions, commitment to the community, and more. The role of religion in people’s lives is dramatic and research on the topic has mirrored this importance. Research on the relationship between religion, spirituality, and health has significantly increased over the last 15 years in a variety of disciplines (Koenig, 2012). The mental health field has also piqued an interest in the topic of religion and spirituality, and many studies have shown that religiosity and spirituality have a positive relationship with mental health (Koenig, 2012). This purpose of this paper is to explore the mechanisms through which religion and spirituality produce well-being and happiness, and how to incorporate those mechanisms into clinical practice.
Definitions of Religion and Spirituality A critically important aspect of studying religion and spirituality is establishing the appropriate definitions of the terms. Researchers have often had trouble differentiating the two concepts and find there are significant overlap between them. Koenig (2012) defines religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices, rituals, and symbols
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