Religion and Consolation

Religion and Consolation

Postby purewater » 18 Nov 2011, 23:48

Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone knows of any studies or papers that have investigated the link between religion and coping with grief? Common sense seems to tell me it would be helpful, but I'm wondering if anyone knows any research that has been conducted into this? Does religion help people cope with grief?
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby Jaboney » 19 Nov 2011, 01:05

You really need a research paper for this?

Of course it helps, some people. Others take comfort in action, or reflection, or wine.

You might want to read up on logotherapy: an approach developed by Victor Frankl while in a concentration camp. He posited that people have an innate need for meaning. Where religion provided meaningfulness, it also provided solace.
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby jdsmith » 19 Nov 2011, 01:17

He posited that people have an innate need for meaning. Where religion provided meaningfulness, it also provided solace.


Sorry Jbone. I gots beef with Frankl..
Your warning level: [1]
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby Jaboney » 19 Nov 2011, 01:45

He and Nussbaum (in The Fragility of Goodness) take polar opposite stands on what's required to live well, and I think they're both right. For most people, most often, the conditions for goodness are better described by Nussbaum. But for a few, Frankl's contemplative stoicism is sufficient. Given what he went through, I have trouble saying he's wrong (and some things you simply cannot fight), but I have strong doubts as to how widely his ideas can or should be adopted.
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby purewater » 19 Nov 2011, 08:07

Yeah, I know it's common sense, but I encountered a strange argument that using religion as a way of coping with grief exacerbates the problem when the grief returns at a later date... Something like that. I still can't figure out the logic. I just wanted to point someone in the direction of a research paper or something because I'd imagine psychologists have looked into it.
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby zender » 19 Nov 2011, 08:16

I think religion helps a lot. If your lovely child (or anyone else you care about) dies, belief that they'll be taken care of, given another life, or waiting for you to meet them in heaven is a GREAT consolation.

There is another side to it. If there is a God who has any power, why me? Why take away my Precious? In a world with so much bad, why take away the good (or allow it)? On this side, there is more anger and confusion than consolation.

:ponder: So, overall, I say religion is 65% good at consoling.
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For consolation, zender recommends Legotherapy. Keep yourself busy building things up.
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby Zla'od » 19 Nov 2011, 16:25

Bear in mind that the OP is asking for research, not off-the-cuff opinions. (I don't know of any, unfortunately.)
"The verbs used in the most important Pali Suttas on mindfulness – the Satipaṭṭhāna and Mahā-Satipaṭṭhāna Suttas (M no. and D no. respectively) – are assasati and passasati, i.e.’ inhale’ and ‘exhale’. The same verbs are used in the Kāyagatāsati Sutta and Ānāpānasati Sutta (M no. 118 and 119 respectively). Although the Ānāpānasati Sutta uses the nouns āna and apāna in its title, it reverts to assasati and passasati in the discourse itself. The author of this article should try reading the Pali texts cited rather than drawing inferences from the title of a single text. Had he done so, he would see that the Pali texts prescribe no such thing as farting meditation." --"Mr. Dangle," responding to Eisel Mazard on New Mandala
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby sandman » 19 Nov 2011, 16:29

I got no religion, but when my daughter died, a friend who had lost a dear dear soulmate gave me a copy of a little book called "A Grief Observed" by a writer called C.S. Lewis. He DOES have religion, but that little book has given me an unimaginable amount of solace and help. I discount nothing.

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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby heimuoshu » 19 Nov 2011, 20:51

sandman wrote:I got no religion, but when my daughter died, a friend who had lost a dear dear soulmate gave me a copy of a little book called "A Grief Observed" by a writer called C.S. Lewis. He DOES have religion, but that little book has given me an unimaginable amount of solace and help. I discount nothing.

As mean and sarcastic as you can be, and I do find it very entertaining, every time I read about your daughter my heart breaks and I fear that the same might happen to me. You're a brave man.
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Re: Religion and Consolation

Postby purewater » 20 Nov 2011, 04:50

You know one time I was in Eslite bookstore and I noticed that little small CS Lewis book, A Grief Observed. I sat down and read it in the store from start to finish (cheap skate) and by the time I finished I was nearly about to cry. Incredibly moving, and I have no doubt that it can be a great source of solace and comfort for anyone who has to go through such an experience.
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