Title

Religion-specific resources for meaning-making from suffering: Defining the territory

Publication Date

1-2018

Abstract

The purpose of this review paper is to present a case for more proximal and emic approaches to the study of religious meaning-making in suffering. Meaning-making is an important way in which religion and spirituality contribute to adjustment in the context of encountering difficult life events. However, much of the available research on religious meaning-making ignores the contributions of specific religions to the meaning-making process. We begin by presenting a rationale for more sustained attention to religion-specific resources for meaning-making in suffering. Using Park’s meaning-making model as the organising framework, we then articulate how religions contribute unique global beliefs, situational beliefs, meaning-making processes, and valued outcomes to meaning-making. We illustrate these using existing research. Next, we suggest a refinement to Park’s model, offering a preliminary recursive model involving these identified components. We conclude with a brief prospectus informed by our model for future research.

Keywords

Meaning (Psychology); Suffering

Publication Title

Mental Health, Religion & Culture

Volume

21

Issue

1

First Page

77

Last Page

92

DOI of Published Version

10.1080/13674676.2018.1448770 .

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