Religion, Spirituality, and Meaning in the Wake of Disasters
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Disasters are a considerable threat to meaning. People often turn toward religion and spirituality in times of adversity as a way to make sense of their situation, maintain a sense of significance, and discover a sense of purpose. Thus, in this chapter, we review how religion/spirituality (R/S) serves as a potential source of meaning in the wake of disasters. First, we explain how variations in religious cognitions, orientations, and attributions affect meaning making processes. Next, we explicate some of the reasons why some disaster survivors turn toward R/S, and how R/S meaning may have an unintended dark side. Finally, we describe how positive psychology interfaces with disasters and conclude by providing a framework to guide future research.
KeywordsDisasters Meaning Religion Virtues Positive psychology Supernatural attribution
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