Religious/spiritual meaning systems
multiple pathways to well-being
Meaning systems are the cognitive frameworks of beliefs and goals through which people view the world. Meaning systems are one important way by which broader cultures are transmitted to individuals within those cultures. Religiousness and spirituality are often thoroughly integrated into individuals' meaning systems, and through this integration, specific cultural beliefs and motivations regarding the broadest elements of existence are conveyed. This chapter focuses on religious and spiritual meaning systems and their links with well-being. Different aspects of religious and spiritual meaning systems are related to many aspects of well-being, but the specific pathways linking religious and spiritual beliefs and goals have not been thoroughly explicated. We propose and evaluate the evidence for five pathways through which these meaning systems may affect well-being: Self-determination, existential needs, self-regulation, meaning as an aspect of coping, and positive psychological states. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
Park, C. L. , Hale, A. (2014)., Religious/spiritual meaning systems: multiple pathways to well-being, in C. Kim-Prieto (ed.), Religion and spirituality across cultures, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 177-201.
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