The contributions of Christian perspectives and practices to positive psychology
Everett L. Worthington, Caroline R. Lavelock, Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Charlotte van OyenWitvliet, Brandon J. Griffin, Chelsea L. Greer, David J. Jennings, Yin Lin, Kayla Jordan, Man Yee Ho
We summarize contributions of Christianity to positive psychology. There are three initial caveats. First, the diversity of Christian views and practices across cultures and throughout history has not been universally positive. Second, positive sources of well-being specifically due to Christianity are challenging to isolate. Third, culture is difficult to separate from religion. Christianity has made contributions to culture and intellectual thought and to individual and societal operations through virtues. Christianity supplements secular views of virtue by a Christian ">telos as maintaining a faithful and authentic relationship with God and by not being focused on raising up oneself, but about serving. Christianity promotes virtue by strengthening self-control and self-regulation, clarifying and focusing goals, and promoting other (related) virtues. It emphasizes two cardinal virtues—love and forgiveness. Future research directions depend on testing these suppositions. We must formulating testable hypotheses and organize existing research and accumulate additional research addressing each proposition.
Worthington, E. L. , Lavelock, C. R. , Van Tongeren, D. R. , van OyenWitvliet, C. , Griffin, B. J. , Greer, C. L. , Jennings, D. J. , Lin, Y. , Jordan, K. , Yee Ho, M. (2014)., The contributions of Christian perspectives and practices to positive psychology, in C. Kim-Prieto (ed.), Religion and spirituality across cultures, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 47-70.
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