Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Pasadena, United States
Recent publications
Abstract: The study of gratitude has expanded beyond interpersonal gratitude and considers how people respond to gifts that are not caused by human agency. Given the discord between the prominent understanding of gratitude requiring the appropriate recognition of a gift to a giver and the increasing divergence of transcendent belief systems that do not acknowledge a transcendent or cosmic giver, we explored how people with different worldviews viewed and experienced gratitude. Transcendence does not hinge on metaphysical beliefs, but it can be experienced phenomenologically and subjectively. We conducted a case-study narrative analysis (N = 6) that represents participants from three different categories of belief systems: theistic, non-theistic but spiritual, and other. Our findings demonstrate how people link their transcendent narrative identity to their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors pertaining to gratitude. Although the theistic participants thanked God for gifts, others who experienced transcendence without a clear referent or source described responding to gratitude by sharing goodness forward. These narratives suggest that the recognition and appreciation of a gift stemming from beyond human cause may be enough to generate transcendent emotions and values that prompt beyond-the-self behaviors. Keywords: gratitude; transcendent gratitude
The deleterious impact of parental detention and deportation on children's development is a matter of urgent concern. This chapter documents the effects of parental detention and deportation on a growing population of children of immigrants in the US. It is critical that we approach this complex social problem from a broad public health perspective, addressing all of the determinants of health and bearing in mind the threat and deprivation associated with growing up in anti-immigrant society. Using a developmental approach that is informed by social determinants of health and expanded models of adversity, we provide analyses of a myriad of short- and long-term psychological, social, and health challenges faced by children of immigrants, particularly among those who experience the detention and deportation of their parents. Recommendations for clinical and community interventions, and policy advocacy are framed using a public health approach to prevention.
This essay makes a recommendation for an expansion in the approach and “method” of Christian theology: it proposes Christian theology as comparative theology. In the religiously pluralistic world, it is not sufficient merely to engage other faith traditions as an “auxiliary task.” Rather, the comparative task should belong to the “normal” way of doing “basic” Christian theological work. While Christian theology is not subsumed under comparative theology, as it were, the essay argues that without the comparative task, Christian theology may fail its calling in the third millennium.
Religious/spiritual communities in the United States hold significant differences in the relative valuing of social order and progress toward social justice, and religious/spiritual leaders play an influential role in fostering those values. This recognition has prompted calls for theological education to revise the process of student formation, equipping them to address an increasingly diverse social world and the social disparities within their larger communities. Right-wing authoritarianism tends to be associated with a preference for social order and various forms of prejudice, and negatively associated with prosocial attitudes and behaviors. However, there is a limited amount of research examining associations between right-wing authoritarianism and the prosocial constructs of social justice commitment and compassion. The present study explored the longitudinal associations between right-wing authoritarianism, social justice commitment, and compassion in a sample of graduate students from 18 Christian seminaries across North America over two and a half years of their education ( N = 580; M age = 31.50; 47.3% female; 62.9% White). Longitudinal data analysis indicated that right-wing authoritarianism exerted a negative influence on social justice commitment and compassion, during the initial time interval which then faded over time. Results also indicated a reciprocal process among right-wing authoritarianism and social justice commitment. Practical implications centered on the potential for interventions targeting the reduction of right-wing authoritarianism to increase social justice commitment and compassion, and interventions targeting greater social justice commitment to lower right-wing authoritarianism.
Seminary students remain unstudied in the research literature despite their eminent role in caring for the wellbeing of congregants. This study aimed to conduct baseline analysis of their family of origin health, psychological health, and physiological heath by utilizing the Biobehavioral Family Model (BBFM) as a conceptual framework for understanding the associations between these constructs. Statistical analysis utilizing structural equation modeling provided support that the BBFM was a sound model for assessing the relationships between these constructs within a seminary sample. Additionally, seminarians were found to have higher rates of anxiety and depression when compared to the general population. Together, findings indicate that clinical care for seminarians may be best if implemented from a global systemic perspective.
Evangelicalism is one of the most popular and diverse religious movements in the world today. Evangelicals can be found on every continent and among nearly all Christian denominations. The origin of this group of people has been traced to the turn of the eighteenth century, with roots in the Puritan and Pietist movements in England and Germany. The earliest evangelicals could be found among Anglicans, Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Moravians, and Presbyterians throughout North America, Britain, and Western Europe and included some of the foremost names of the age, such as Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and George Whitefield. Early evangelicals were abolitionists, historians, hymn writers, missionaries, philanthropists, poets, preachers, and theologians. They participated in the major cultural and intellectual currents of the day and founded institutions of higher education not limited to Dartmouth College, Brown University, and Princeton University. The Oxford Handbook of Early Evangelicalism provides the most authoritative and comprehensive overview of the significant figures and religious communities associated with early evangelicalism within the contextual and cultural environment of the long eighteenth century, with essays written by the world’s leading experts in the field of eighteenth-century studies.
his chapter examines the rise and progress of Evangelicalism in the Church of England during the eighteenth century. While the movement began in relative isolation in Wales, it soon spread geographically, its teachings finding a receptive audience among many in the Church. Early on, Evangelicals faced numerous challenges, not least in overcoming opposition to their doctrines, evangelistic aims, and disregard of church order. By the end of the century, however, the influence of Evangelicalism had extended into many parts of the Church, the wider society, and even foreign lands, attracting men and women of abundant talent, energy, and spiritual commitment, and transforming the nature of Anglicanism in England and beyond. Especially noteworthy was the leading role the early Evangelicals played in the campaign for abolition, the formation of numerous voluntary societies, the support of women’s spirituality, and enacting various social reforms.
Financial stress is a growing concern for Americans. One population that is particularly susceptible to financial stress and its negative consequences are students enrolled in seminaries many of whom will graduate with large amounts of debt while entering a profession with unique financial challenges that can make repaying student loan debt a daunting task. Prior studies have found that financial stress can lead to poor spiritual, mental, and relational health outcomes. However, research has not yet established that spiritual health is a key part of the mechanism by which financial stress is linked with mental and rela-tional health. The current study involved 189 students from five theological seminaries. Structural equation modeling revealed that spiritual health accounts for some of the negative impact of financial stress on both mental and relational health outcomes. These results suggest that the spiritual health of seminary students represents a salient focal point for potential interventions seeking to improve the holistic health of this population.
The integration of spiritual practices in therapy is a valuable tool for supporting and reinforcing change. This paper explores the use of a written form of prayer called a collect as an intervention in narrative therapy. A collect is a form of prayer with a structure that can be easily co-constructed by clients and therapists. This spiritual intervention serves as a therapeutic document to help reinforce the externalization of a client’s problem or help thicken alternative narratives. Relevant aspects of narrative therapy and written prayer are summarized. A guide for implementation, examples of collects, and a worksheet for helping clients write collects is provided.
Research on posttraumatic experiences has focused heavily on emotional experi�ences based on predetermined psychopathological standards. In contrast, victims’ subjective experiences—especially of indigenous populations—are scarcely dis�cussed. This study used a narrative approach to examine the experiences of 22 Sichuan earthquake survivors who were diagnosed with posttraumatic stress dis�order. Victims completed semistructured interviews regarding their overall experi�ences, and analysis of narrative was employed to analyze the data. The current study found that the earthquake brought signifcant changes to participant lives regarding their (i) environment, (ii) society, (iii) body-mind, and (iv) spiritual dynamics. Each of these key themes and its practical and theoretical implications are discussed along with suggestions for further development and practices of culturally sensitive mental health services for earthquake survivors in China.
Well-known predictors of prejudice toward Muslims include social dominance and authoritarianism. However, a gap exists for variables reflecting a rejection or mitigation of ideological motivations associated with prejudice toward Muslims. We examined if quiet ego was related to positive attitudes toward Muslims, and whether this could be explained by lower levels of authoritarianism, social dominance, and the motivation to express prejudice. We explored this possibility across two studies of adults in the United States (N = 376; N = 519). In Study 1, regression results showed quiet ego was directly associated with positive attitudes toward Muslims. Study 2 utilized path analyses and found that the direct relationship between quiet ego and positive attitudes toward Muslims was explained by associations between quiet ego and lower endorsement of authoritarianism, social dominance, and the internal motivation to express prejudice toward Muslims. Moreover, these associations held when accounting for several correlates of intergroup attitudes.
The Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R) and its short form (SAPS) are among the most-established multidimensional perfectionism measures. Yet, investigations into the APS-R/SAPS nomological networks have mainly been limited to the level of broader personality traits. This reliance on trait-level associations hampers the conceptual understanding of perfectionism traits by masking more complex relations with specific cognitive, emotional, and behavioral tendencies (personality facets). In this study, we validated German versions of the APS-R and SAPS and assessed their relations with the Big Five personality facets in two samples ( N Sample 1 = 305 university students; N Sample 2 = 467 community adults). Both scales displayed satisfactory psychometric properties, convergent and criterion-related validity. Analyses on the level of the Big Five personality facets revealed complex and nuanced patterns of relations. These findings provide new insights into the APS-R and SAPS nomological networks and facilitate the conceptual distinction between the APS-R subscales.
This article proposes that the empirical perspective in the discipline of practical theology, as championed by Mark J. Cartledge, offers dialogical potential between localized pentecostal praxis and academically situated theology. This essay first situates Cartledge’s scholarship in the broader field of practical theology, with attention given to the contributions of the empirical perspective. It then turns to Cartledge’s scholarship proper, charting the development of his methodological proposals via insights across three phases of his work. The first phase is distinguished by Cartledge’s methodological framing, with the author borrowing the empirical approach of Johannes van der Ven in studies on charismatic phenomena. In the second phrase of his research, methodological insights are further enhanced by a turn towards the dialogical potential of experience—referred to as contextual theology. While the contextual phase of Cartledge’s research sought to generate revised ecclesial praxis, the third phase of his research witnesses a turn toward public theology.
This article offers a sweeping view of the first fifty years of the International Roman Catholic–Pentecostal Dialogue, from the perspective of an historian who has participated in this ongoing discussion for the past thirty-seven years. While the first two rounds of dialogue were especially difficult because of the political disputes between the then Assemblies of God General Superintendent, Thomas F. Zimmerman, and David du Plessis, the former General Secretary of the Pentecostal World Conference, the Dialogue has survived and produced six major studies so far, with a seventh round that has resumed after COVID -19 in July 2022. Today, this ecumenical dialogue is the oldest and most widely accepted in the world that features Pentecostals. The article explains some of the difficulties participants have faced, challenges they have overcome, and it explains how the dialogue has opened doors for further communication between Catholics and Pentecostals. It concludes with the recognition that the dialogue has contributed to problem solving and has helped to open the path towards the establishment of the Christian Unity Commission of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.
The traditional reading of Isa 46:1–4 understands the Babylonian gods as falling or toppling. Interpretation of the nature of their actions depends upon how one reads the verbiage applied to the deities, which hinges upon the translation of a series of either difficult or semantically diverse Hebrew terms. This essay analyzes these terms in light of comparative Semitic evidence. It also considers the passage in light of broader ancient Near Eastern ideological and mythological patterns. Finally, it explores some prominent motifs in the traditions of the Akītu festival, which constitutes the immediate frame of reference for the oracle’s imagery and against which Deutero-Isaiah was framing his rhetoric. Birth imagery, this essay contends, constitutes the primary rhetorical vehicle by which the prophet ridicules the Babylonian gods, portraying them as crouching in labor, and depicting them as inferior to Yahweh.
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945 members
Kenneth T Wang
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
Cynthia B. Eriksson
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
Richard Gorsuch
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
Al C Dueck
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
James L. Furrow
  • School of Psychology
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