Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World [1st ed.] 9783030521394, 9783030521400

This volume addresses an important problem in social scientific research on global religions and spirituality: How to ev

653 125 8MB

English Pages XX, 618 [617] Year 2021

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World [1st ed.]
 9783030521394, 9783030521400

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xx
Front Matter ....Pages 1-1
Introduction (Amy L. Ai, Paul Wink)....Pages 3-14
Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology (P. Scott Richards, Raymond F. Paloutzian, Peter W. Sanders)....Pages 15-31
Front Matter ....Pages 33-33
The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects (Dick Houtman, Paul Tromp)....Pages 35-57
The Connection of Soul (COS) Scale: Different Worldviews on What May Happen to Individuals After Death (Amy L. Ai, Paul Wink, Terrence N. Tice, Andreas Kastenmüller, Jimmy Yu)....Pages 59-86
Counting the Nonreligious: A Critical Review of New Measures (Thomas J. Coleman III, Jonathan Jong)....Pages 87-116
Measuring Three Distinct Aspects of Meaning in Life: The Multidimensional Existential Meaning Scale (MEMS) (Crystal L. Park, Login S. George, Amy L. Ai)....Pages 117-140
The Religious and Spiritual Struggles (RSS) Scale: Stability Over One Year (Nick Stauner, Julie J. Exline, Joshua B. Grubbs, Kenneth I. Pargament)....Pages 141-163
Front Matter ....Pages 165-165
Reverence in Religious and Secular Contexts (RRSC): A Self-Report Measure (Amy L. Ai, Paul Wink, Terry Lynn Gall)....Pages 167-187
The Self-Expansiveness Level Form: A Measure of a Transpersonal Construct (Harris L. Friedman)....Pages 189-213
Using Private Prayer for Coping (UPPC): Its Role and Mechanisms in Adversities Facing Diverse Populations (Amy L. Ai, Christopher Peterson, Harold Koenig, Raymond F. Paloutzian, Kevin A. Harris)....Pages 215-247
The Spiritual Orientation Inventory (SOI): A Multidimensional Measure of Humanistic Spirituality (Aryeh Lazar)....Pages 249-269
The Expressions of Spirituality Inventory (ESI): A Multidimensional Measure for Expression of Multi-Domain Spirituality (Aryeh Lazar)....Pages 271-295
Front Matter ....Pages 297-297
Measures of Muslim Religiousness Constructs and a Multidimensional Scale (Mona M. Amer)....Pages 299-331
Applying a Mindset of Spiritual Jihad to Religious/Spiritual Struggles: The Development of a Preliminary Measure (Seyma N. Saritoprak, Julie J. Exline)....Pages 333-354
Measuring Mindfulness Grounded in the Original Buddha’s Discourses on Meditation Practice (Siu-man Ng, Qi Wang)....Pages 355-381
The Measure of Diverse Adolescent Spirituality (MDAS) and Refined Findings from Mexican and Salvadoran Youth (Pamela E. King, Yeonsoo Yoo, Jennifer Medina Vaughn, Jonathan M. Tirrell, G. John Geldhof, Elizabeth Dowling)....Pages 383-410
Front Matter ....Pages 411-411
The Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS): Cross-Cultural Assessment Across 5 Continents, 10 Languages, and 300 Studies (Raymond F. Paloutzian, Zuhâl Agilkaya-Sahin, Kay C. Bruce, Marianne Nilsen Kvande, Klara Malinakova, Luciana Fernandes Marques et al.)....Pages 413-444
The Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (SCSRFQ): A Brief, Nondenominational, and Multicultural Assessment Tool (Thomas G. Plante)....Pages 445-466
The Mysticism Scale as a Measure for Subjective Spirituality: New Results with Hood’s M-Scale and the Development of a Short Form (Heinz Streib, Constantin Klein, Barbara Keller, Ralph Hood)....Pages 467-491
The Perceived Spiritual Support Scale (PSSS): Measuring Support from the Deep Connection with Diverse Sacred Entities (Amy L. Ai, Terrence N. Tice, Christopher Peterson, Raymond F. Paloutzian, Pearson Croney-Clark)....Pages 493-520
Spiritual Modeling Self-Efficacy (SMSE): A Stand-Alone Measure (Doug Oman, Thomas G. Plante, Eric P. Boorman, Kevin A. Harris)....Pages 521-552
The Faith Q-Sort: In-Depth Assessment of Diverse Spirituality and Religiosity in 12 Countries (Peter Nynäs, Janne Kontala, Mika Lassander)....Pages 553-573
Front Matter ....Pages 575-575
Diverse Spirituality Revisited: Lessons Learned (Paul Wink, Amy L. Ai, Raymond F. Paloutzian)....Pages 577-594
Back Matter ....Pages 595-618

Citation preview

Amy L. Ai Paul Wink Raymond F. Paloutzian Kevin A. Harris  Editors

Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World

Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World

Amy L. Ai • Paul Wink Raymond F. Paloutzian  •  Kevin A. Harris Editors

Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World

Editors Amy L. Ai Florida State University Tallahassee, FL, USA Raymond F. Paloutzian Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Paul Wink Department of Psychology Wellesley College Wellesley, MA, USA Kevin A. Harris Algos Behavioral Health Services San Antonio, TX, USA

ISBN 978-3-030-52139-4    ISBN 978-3-030-52140-0 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52140-0 © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

My parents, who exemplified spiritual models for me in face of crises. Amy L. Ai Michele Dillon, who ignited my interest in the study of religion and spirituality. Paul Wink My colleagues, who reviewed manuscripts for The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion from 1998 to 2016. Raymond F. Paloutzian My wife Nicole, my daughter Olivia, and my parents Fred and Nancy, who taught me the meaning of spirituality and love. Kevin A. Harris

Foreword

One of my undergraduate professors, now a long time ago, once made the offhanded comment that has stuck with me all these years─“the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know.” Perhaps nowhere is this comment more true than in the scientific study of religion and spirituality. One would be hard-pressed to get around the fact that the study of religion and spirituality is going through radical changes, largely reflecting the changing landscape of our objects of study. Religion and spirituality are cultural variables. When cultures go through changes, or when researchers apply their skills in different cultures, we can expect that culturally sensitive variables such as religion and spirituality (Belzen, 2010; Cohen, 2009) will also change. The scientific studies of religion and spirituality, once a field that focused its efforts almost exclusively on the Judeo-­ Christian tradition (and largely just Christian), have quickly grown into a highly diverse field that acknowledges the complexity and richness of culturally embedded religious and spiritual life. What often undergirded the research in those early years was the implicit assumption that the psychological dynamics found in the Judeo-­ Christian tradition is generalizable both (1) to other traditions and (2) to those with a spiritual orientation that is less defined by religious boundaries. As researchers have begun to expand their efforts beyond the Judeo-Christian context (or to further study Judaism and Christianity, but in other cultures), we are learning just how complex and varied religious life is. One size does not fit all. Furthermore, we have discovered that diversity is found even where homogeneity might be expected. For example, Dougherty et  al. (2009) found a considerable theological variation on beliefs about heaven, conceptions of God, religious identity, and New Age even within a conservative Southern Baptist congregation in Central Texas. The state of the discipline is nicely summarized by Pargament, Mahoney, Exline, Jones, and Shafranske (2013). Multiplicity and diversity might be the terms that most accurately describe the current status of the psychology of religion and spirituality. No single paradigm dominates the field… Instead, the psychology of religion and spirituality is marked by exceptional diversity in concepts, theories, methods, and measures. This is, perhaps as it should be; the multiplicity in the field is an accurate reflection of the richness of religious and spiritual life. (pp. 4–5) vii

viii

Foreword

It is also the case that psychologists and other social scientists who study religious and spirituality phenomena have, so it seems, developed some critical concerns about issues of measurement—and for good reason. Measurement is foundational to scientific discovery. The obsession with measurement was, at least in part, a product of the times in which contemporary psychology of religion was maturing through its formative years. The early work of William James and the Clark School in the psychology of religion was quickly relegated to a third-class status with the rise of behaviorism and its accompanying underlying positivistic philosophy (see Vande Kemp, 1992). By the mid-twentieth century, those who were influential in the reemergence of the psychological study of religion, aided greatly by Gordon Allport’s reputation and the 1950 publication of his seminal work The Individual and His Religion, recognized the importance of measurement not only to the progress of the field but in establishing scientific credibility within the discipline of psychology as a whole. By 1984, Gorsuch concluded that a measurement paradigm proved successful by establishing a number of valid standardized measures. This measurement “boon,” however, had come at a price—the “bane” of neglected conceptual development (Gorsuch, 1984, p. 228). Fortunately, psychologists of religion have responded to Gorsuch’s challenge and conceptual work has greatly progressed in the 35 years since his analysis. In fact, Evonne Edwards and I noted the not-so-surprising fact that some of the best measures in the psychology of religion are those rooted in rich conceptual soil such as attachment processes, psychological coping, mysticism, and the like. As we said, “good theory and good measurement go hand in hand” (Hill & Edwards, 2013, p. 53). The diversity of the field requires that measurement efforts keep up. The single most common question I have received since the publication of Measures of Religiosity (Hill & Hood, 1999) is something along the lines of “Isn’t there a measure of spirituality that is free of cultural and religious boundaries?” Such questions are a red flag for me. This is not to say that there are no universal characteristics of religion and spirituality. As cognitive scientists of religion are quick to remind us, there are hidden structural elements of our psychological edifice that help us interpret an experience as religious or spiritual, regardless of cultural context (Barrett, 2013). Thus, there are some aspects of religion or spirituality that involve basic underlying issues that transcend religious and cultural traditions and, if such an aspect is the construct of research interest, then utilizing a measure that has been verified across cultures is not only justified but preferred. However, we should not assume that measures, just because of their generalizability, are necessarily the gold standards that are going to best move the field forward. Our object of interest is simply too complex with too many particular constructs of interest to always assume such an approach. Thus, it is time for a book like this. What you will find here is a spate of articles that cut across many of the issues of multiplicity and diversity facing the field. The very fact that religion and spirituality are multicultural is directly addressed on the pages herein. Sometimes, measures are best developed indigenously, resulting in culturally sensitive measures that are specific to identified religion and spiritual traditions. There is an obvious strength in taking such a cultural approach to

Foreword

ix

­ easurement development. Other times, it is worthwhile to take a cross-cultural m approach whereby the generalizability of a measure that is specific to a particular religious tradition is tested in other cultures and religious traditions. You will find good examples of both cultural and cross-cultural approaches here and, as explicitly noted in Chap. 22, measures and supporting evidence reported throughout this volume make a strong case for both universal and particular characteristics of religion and spirituality. With the exception of some work by Hood and colleagues on mysticism, nonconventional spirituality is a topic that was given little thought until recently. But, once again, the richness of our object of study requires that research moves beyond the boundaries of conventional religion. You will find such efforts described here. No single approach to measurement will answer the many challenging questions facing researchers who study religious and spiritual life. Nor will the study of only some types of religion and spirituality allow us to fully grasp the complexity of our object of study. As we progress through the much-unchartered territory, we will discover new dimensions that will help us understand that the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know. Along the way, however, we will indeed gain new insights and understanding of religion and spirituality, as we already have. This book will greatly help navigate the course. Peter C. Hill Biola University La Mirada, CA, USA

References Allport, G. W. (1950). The individual and his religion. New York, NY: MacMillan Barrett, J.  L. (2013). Exploring religion’s basement: The cognitive science of religion. In R.  F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (2nd ed., pp. 234–255). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Belzen (2010). Towards cultural psychology of religion: Principles, approaches, applications. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Cohen, A. B. (2009). Many forms of culture. American Psychologist, 64, 194-204. Dougherty, K. D., Bader, C. D., Froese, P., Poison, E. C., & Smith, B. G. (2009). Religious diversity in a conservative Baptist congregation. Review of Religious Research, 50, 321–334. Gorsuch, R.  L. (1984). Measurement: The boon and bane of investigating religion. American Psychologist, 39, 228–236. Hill, P. C., & Edwards, E. (2013). Measurement in the psychology of religiousness and spirituality: Existing measures and new frontiers. In K. I. Pargament, J. J. Exline, & J. W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality: Volume 1: Context, theory, and research (pp. 51–77). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Hill, P.  C., & Hood, R.  W., Jr. (1999). Measures of religiosity. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press. Pargament, K. I., Mahoney, A., Exline, J. J., Jones, J. W., & Shafranske, E. P. (2013). Envisioning and integrative paradigm for the psychology of religion and spirituality. In K. I. Pargament, J.  J. Exline, & J.  W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality:

x

Foreword

Volume 1: Context, theory, and research (pp. 3–19). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Vande Kemp, H. (1992). G. Stanley Hall and the Clark school of religious psychology. American Psychologist, 47, 290–298.

Peter C. Hill, PhD  is Professor of Psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, in La Mirada, CA. His research interests focus on religious/ spiritual measurement, positive psychological virtues such as humility and forgiveness, religious fundamentalism, and the role of affect in religious or spiritual experience. He is a past president of Division 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was elected Fellow of the APA in 1998. He has co-­authored or co-edited seven books including The Psychology of Fundamentalism: An Intratextual Approach (2005), Measures of Religiosity (1999), the Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology (1999), and the 5th edition of the leading psychology of religion textbook The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach (2018, Guilford Press).

Contents

Part I The Past and the Trend Calling for New Dimensions Introduction������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������    3 Amy L. Ai and Paul Wink  ainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness M and Spirituality in Psychology������������������������������������������������������������������������   15 P. Scott Richards, Raymond F. Paloutzian, and Peter W. Sanders Part II Advanced Topics Related to Spiritual Worldviews  he Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, T Obstacles, Prospects����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������   35 Dick Houtman and Paul Tromp  he Connection of Soul (COS) Scale: Different Worldviews T on What May Happen to Individuals After Death����������������������������������������   59 Amy L. Ai, Paul Wink, Terrence N. Tice, Andreas Kastenmüller, and Jimmy Yu  ounting the Nonreligious: A Critical Review of New Measures����������������   87 C Thomas J. Coleman III and Jonathan Jong  easuring Three Distinct Aspects of Meaning in Life: M The Multidimensional Existential Meaning Scale (MEMS)������������������������  117 Crystal L. Park, Login S. George, and Amy L. Ai  he Religious and Spiritual Struggles (RSS) Scale: T Stability Over One Year����������������������������������������������������������������������������������  141 Nick Stauner, Julie J. Exline, Joshua B. Grubbs, and Kenneth I. Pargament

xi

xii

Contents

Part III Spiritual Emotions and Personal Experiences  everence in Religious and Secular Contexts (RRSC): R A Self-Report Measure������������������������������������������������������������������������������������  167 Amy L. Ai, Paul Wink, and Terry Lynn Gall  he Self-Expansiveness Level Form: A Measure of a T Transpersonal Construct��������������������������������������������������������������������������������  189 Harris L. Friedman  sing Private Prayer for Coping (UPPC): Its Role U and Mechanisms in Adversities Facing Diverse Populations ����������������������  215 Amy L. Ai, Christopher Peterson, Harold Koenig, Raymond F. Paloutzian, and Kevin A. Harris  he Spiritual Orientation Inventory (SOI): A Multidimensional T Measure of Humanistic Spirituality ��������������������������������������������������������������  249 Aryeh Lazar  he Expressions of Spirituality Inventory (ESI): T A Multidimensional Measure for Expression of Multi-Domain Spirituality��������������������������������������������������������������������������  271 Aryeh Lazar Part IV Spiritual Diversity in Under-Investigated Cultures  easures of Muslim Religiousness Constructs M and a Multidimensional Scale ������������������������������������������������������������������������  299 Mona M. Amer  pplying a Mindset of Spiritual Jihad to Religious/Spiritual A Struggles: The Development of a Preliminary Measure������������������������������  333 Seyma N. Saritoprak and Julie J. Exline  easuring Mindfulness Grounded in the Original M Buddha’s Discourses on Meditation Practice������������������������������������������������  355 Siu-man Ng and Qi Wang  he Measure of Diverse Adolescent Spirituality (MDAS) T and Refined Findings from Mexican and Salvadoran Youth ����������������������  383 Pamela E. King, Yeonsoo Yoo, Jennifer Medina Vaughn, Jonathan M. Tirrell, G. John Geldhof, and Elizabeth Dowling

Contents

xiii

Part V Spirituality-Based Specific Concepts  he Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS): Cross-Cultural T Assessment Across 5 Continents, 10 Languages, and 300 Studies��������������  413 Raymond F. Paloutzian, Zuhâl Agilkaya-Sahin, Kay C. Bruce, Marianne Nilsen Kvande, Klara Malinakova, Luciana Fernandes Marques, Ahmad S. Musa, Marzieh Nojomi, Eyüp Ensar Öztürk, Indah Permata Putri, and Suk-Kyung You  he Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire T (SCSRFQ): A Brief, Nondenominational, and Multicultural Assessment Tool������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������  445 Thomas G. Plante  he Mysticism Scale as a Measure for Subjective Spirituality: T New Results with Hood’s M-Scale and the Development of a Short Form������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������  467 Heinz Streib, Constantin Klein, Barbara Keller, and Ralph Hood  he Perceived Spiritual Support Scale (PSSS): Measuring T Support from the Deep Connection with Diverse Sacred Entities��������������  493 Amy L. Ai, Terrence N. Tice, Christopher Peterson, Raymond F. Paloutzian, and Pearson Croney-Clark  piritual Modeling Self-Efficacy (SMSE): A Stand-Alone Measure����������  521 S Doug Oman, Thomas G. Plante, Eric P. Boorman, and Kevin A. Harris  he Faith Q-Sort: In-Depth Assessment of Diverse T Spirituality and Religiosity in 12 Countries��������������������������������������������������  553 Peter Nynäs, Janne Kontala, and Mika Lassander Part VI Conclusion  iverse Spirituality Revisited: Lessons Learned������������������������������������������  577 D Paul Wink, Amy L. Ai, and Raymond F. Paloutzian Index������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������  595

Contributors

Zuhâl Agilkaya-Sahin  Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey Amy L. Ai  Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA Mona M. Amer  The American University in Cairo, New Cairo, Egypt Eric P. Boorman  Boston University, Boston, MA, USA Kay C. Bruce  Western Seminary, Portland, OR, USA Thomas J. Coleman III  Coventry University, Coventry, UK Society and Cognition Unit, University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland Pearson  Croney-Clark  Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada Elizabeth Dowling  Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA Julie J. Exline  Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA Harris L. Friedman  University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA Terry Lynn Gall  Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON, Canada G. John Geldhof  Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA Login S. George  University of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT, USA Joshua B. Grubbs  Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA Kevin A. Harris  Algos Behavioral Health Services, San Antonio, TX, USA Ralph Hood  University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN, USA Dick Houtman  KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium Jonathan Jong  Coventry University, Coventry, UK xv

xvi

Contributors

Andreas Kastenmüller  Universität Siegen, Siegen, Germany Barbara  Keller  Center for Biographical Studies in Contemporary Religion, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany Pamela  E.  King  School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA Constantin Klein  Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany Harold Koenig  Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Janne Kontala  Åbo Akedemi University, Turku, Sweden Marianne  Nilsen  Kvande  Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway Mika Lassander  Åbo Akedemi University, Turku, Finland Aryeh Lazar  Ariel University, Ariel, Israel Klara Malinakova  Palacky University Olomouc, Olomouc, Czechia Luciana  Fernandes  Marques  Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil Ahmad S. Musa  Al al-Bayt University, Mafraq, Jordan Siu-man Ng  Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China Marzieh Nojomi  Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Peter Nynäs  Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland Doug Oman  University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA Eyüp Ensar Öztürk  Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey Raymond F. Paloutzian  Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, USA Kenneth  I.  Pargament  Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA Crystal L. Park  University of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT, USA Christopher Peterson  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA Thomas G. Plante  Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, USA Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA Indah Permata Putri  Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia

Contributors

xvii

P.  Scott  Richards  Center for Change of Universal Health Service, Inc., Orem, Utah, USA Peter W. Sanders  Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, USA Seyma N. Saritoprak  Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA Nick Stauner  Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA Heinz Streib  Center for Biographical Studies in Contemporary Religion, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany Terrence N. Tice  University of Michigan, Denver, CO, USA Jonathan M. Tirrell  Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA Paul Tromp  KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium Jennifer Medina Vaughn  Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA Qi  Wang  Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China Paul Wink  Department of Psychology, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA Yeonsoo Yoo  Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA Suk-Kyung You  Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea Jimmy Yu  Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

About the Editors

Amy L. Ai, PhD, MS, MA, MSW  is an interdisciplinary researcher and professor at the Florida State University. She received her PhD and three master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her academic career has focused on cross-disciplinary research on human strengths, spirituality, health and mental health, existential crisis, gerontology, and well-being. Her studies have been funded by grants from federal, state, international, and private agencies. She is a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, American Psychological Association (Divisions 56, 38, 36, and 20), Gerontological Society of America, and, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, a Hartford Geriatric Faculty Scholar; and a Fulbright Senior Specialist and Distinguished Chair. Paul  Wink, PhD, MA  is the Nellie Zuckerman Cohen and Anne Cohen Heller Professor in Health Science and a professor in the Psychology Department at Wellesley College. He holds a PhD in personality psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and was a visiting faculty at the University of Michigan. Dr. Wink’s research interests are in the area of adult development and aging broadly defined to include psychosocial functioning, and the interface between personality, life course transitions, and sociohistorical context. His extensive research on narcissism focuses on the differences between healthy and pathological (overt and covert) narcissism. He has published extensively in the areas of religiousness and spirituality, adult development, generativity, and narcissism. Wink’s research has been supported by grants from the Open Society Institute, the Lilly Foundation, the Fetzer Institute in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, and the John Templeton Foundation. Raymond F. Paloutzian, PhD  Claremont Graduate School, is Professor Emeritus of experimental and social psychology at the Westmont College and consultant to the Religion, Experience, and Mind (REM) Lab Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was Visiting Professor at the Stanford University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He edited The International Journal

xix

xx

About the Editors

for the Psychology of Religion (1998–2016). He wrote Invitation to the Psychology of Religion, 3rd ed. (Guilford, 2017) and edited Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Psychological Pathways to Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (with A.  Kalayjian; Springer, 2010), Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2nd ed. (with C. L. Park; Guilford, 2013), and Processes of Believing: The Acquisition, Maintenance, and Change in Creditions (with H.-F.  Angel, L. Oviedo, A. L. C. Runehov, and R. J. Seitz; Springer, 2017). Kevin A. Harris, PhD, LP, HSP  is a Licensed Psychologist at Algos Behavioral Health Services and a former assistant professor of psychology at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas. He earned his BA in Psychology from the Indiana University Kokomo, his MS in Counselling and Counsellor Education from the Indiana University Bloomington, and his PhD in Counselling Psychology from the Ball State University. He is a Licensed Psychologist (LP) in Texas, a Health Service Psychologist (HSP), and a National Certified Counsellor (NCC). Prior to his Texas jobs, he served as an addictions counsellor in South Florida. He specializes in the psychology of religion and spirituality, the psychology of music, assessment of faith, and campus sexual assault prevention and is a co-editor of the second edition of Measures of Religiosity.

Part I

The Past and the Trend Calling for New Dimensions

Introduction Amy L. Ai and Paul Wink

Abstract  Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World addresses an important issue in social scientific research on spirituality, be it religious or not. In collaboration with a group of international social scientists, especially those affiliated with psychology of religion and spirituality, we provide data on more than two dozen assessment measures with sound or preliminary psychometric information intended to be used by both researchers and practitioners. As social scientists begin to tackle increasingly diversified belief systems around the globe, new challenges lie in assessing religious/spiritual (R/S) concepts across different beliefs and cultures. An immediate gap for social scientists to fill is to create new or to enable existing instruments to validate and assess R/S concepts across diverse beliefs. To address this gap, this book reflects a collaborative scientific effort to advance R/S assessment with solid psychometric information on a variety of measures reflecting today’s global trends. We hope that this volume will provide a critical turning point in research and practice in R/S matters toward a new future in which not only mainstream social scientists, including psychologists, but a wider gamut of behavioral and mental health professionals as well, will address spirituality in its diverse manifestations in their scientific investigation and training. Keywords  Diversity · Globablization · Instrument development · Religiousness Social scientific research · Spirituality · Validation

1  Introduction Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World addresses an important issue in social scientific research on spirituality, be it religious or not. In collaboration with a group of international social scientists, especially those affiliated with psychology of religion and spirituality, we provide data on more than two dozen assessment measures A. L. Ai (*) Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA P. Wink Department of Psychology, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 A. L. Ai et al. (eds.), Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52140-0_1

3

4

A. L. Ai and P. Wink

with sound or preliminary psychometric information intended to be used by both researchers and practitioners. The goal of this book is to (a) better understand the role of spirituality across different faith, worldviews, and cultures, including both Western and non-Western religions and non-religious belief systems, and (b) enrich the mainstream of social science, including psychology, and health science research. The rationale for the book lies in the need to address the variety of religious experiences. As posited by William James (1901–1902/1982), the founding member of the American Psychological Association (APA), “the divine can mean no single quality but instead entails multiple qualities” (p. 330). This book extends James’ dictum to include varied and nuanced conceptualizations and assessment tools of spirituality that are culturally diverse and reflect both religious and/or non-religious worldviews.

2  The Objectives of the Book A decade ago, an expert panel organized by the U.S. National Institutes of Health termed the area of spirituality, health, and wellbeing as a genuine frontier of research (Miller & Thoresen, 2003) and pointed to assessment issues as its major limitation (Hill & Pargament, 2003). Recently, health scientists at Harvard posit that spiritual interconnection could inform future strategies for both public health and individualized, patient-centered care (VanderWeele, Balboni, & Koh, 2017). Yet, their claim was made based on findings from studies without validated measures for perceived spiritual support. The objective of our compendium is to meet the challenges posed to the assessment of spirituality by an increasing diverse and globalized world. These challenges to this enterprise include: (1) addressing diversity in a changing world, (2) advancing diverse conceptualization and operationalization of spirituality as a universal human psychological dimension, and (3) mobilizing the synergy in a cross-cultural endeavor to achieve this inter-disciplinarily shared scientific innovation. Concerning objective (1), addressing diversity in a changing world, this book meets new challenges posed by the rapid growing trend of globalization and diversification of religiousness and spirituality (R/S). From a sociological view of religion, Houtman and Tromp (Chap. 3, this volume) point to an emerging and ever stronger trend of post-Christian spirituality or privatized religious beliefs and practices in departing from churches, as particularly evident in Western European countries. In the post-World War II era, while many Christian church pews have emptied, the majority of Europeans continue to profess a belief in some kind of a transcendent or sacred force, one that is more holistic, meaningful, and personalized. On the other hand, in Central and Eastern Europe including, for example, Poland and Russia, the state sponsors a religion or an unofficial preferred faith (e.g., Catholic or Orthodox) as a backlash against former secular regimes. Meanwhile, we have witnessed an increase in Muslim populations in the Western Europe partly attributable to regional conflicts and wars that have given rise to new migration patterns (Lipka,

Introduction

5

2017). Conversely, of course, many non-Western parts of the world are witnessing a rapid growth of Protestant, especially Pentecostal, churches. The U.S. has experienced a similar emergence of a culturally diversified and increasingly personally complex religious landscape although lagging behind the Western European scene (Ai et al., 2009; Ai, Wink, & Shearer, 2011; Chaps. 3, 4, 8, this volume). This trend is partly attributable to the diversified faiths among the Baby Boomer generations who were influenced by the religious freedom during the turbulent 1960–1970s (Wuthnow, 1998) and to the influx of new and ethnically diverse immigrant groups along with the aging of the traditional White Christian population (Cox & Jones, 2017). Surveys indicate that 40% of contemporary Americans have experienced a change in religious beliefs in their lives, with a growing number either self-identifying as spiritual but not religious or as religiously unaffiliated (Dillon & Wink, 2007; Pew Forum, 2009). For the first time in U.S. history, many Americans hold mixed religious or spiritual beliefs (Pew Forum, 2012). Moreover, many believers report beliefs that draw on multiple religious/spiritual (R/S) traditions, and over one-third embrace Eastern/Asian and so-called New Age R/S beliefs (e.g., reincarnation and spiritual energy located in natural or physical objects such as crystals, mountains, or trees). Today, the religiously unaffiliated (e.g., atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular”) account for nearly one-quarter (24%) of Americans, and this group has roughly tripled in size since the early 1990s (Cox & Jones, 2017). Nevertheless, the majority of the unaffiliated continue to experience spiritual fulfillment but do so outside of traditional religious settings and beliefs, and they participate in various forms of non-church spirituality (Pew Forum, 2012). As shown in the current surveys in the United Stage, 80% of Americans believe in God, but only 56% confirmed their God as the one described in the Bible (Pew Research Center, 2018a, 2018b). An additional 33%, including 9% of non-believers, hold beliefs in some other higher power or spiritual force. This evolving R/S landscape in the changing world calls for scientific assessment of concepts reflecting different spiritual worldviews in order to understand the meanings and values of diverse beliefs in the lives of today’s varied populations. Whereas establishing and validating such instruments has become an urgent challenge, most currently available scales measure mainstream R/S only. This discrepancy constitutes a mismatch between the assessment tools that are needed and those that are available in contemporary R/S social and health science research, as well as psychological practices. At present, to our knowledge there are no published books on assessment of spirituality beyond the mainstream Western religious perspective. Thus, it is imperative for social scientists, including psychologists, to redress the gap through developing objective measures assessing the ever more complex spiritual landscape, including various religious traditions and increasing secular or non-religious worldviews. Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World attempts to fill this void by addressing the growing demand and need for differentiated and culturally sensitive measures and methods of assessing spirituality. Regarding Objective (2), advancing diverse conceptualization and operationalization of spirituality as a universal human psychological dimension, the literature

6

A. L. Ai and P. Wink

has witnessed an explosion in quality empirical research examining the influences of R/S engagement on human wellbeing and a tremendous growth in the development of measures of R/S constructs, as summarized by Richards, Paloutzian, and Sanders (Chap. 2, this volume). Measures of R/S have often focused solely on mainstream religious views, however, with little attention paid to spiritual perspectives outside the Western world. Yet, as pointed out by Richards et al., R/S matters concern all humans constituting a universal condition of human existence. This poses the challenge of developing measures that are sensitive to similarities and differences in religious and spiritual practices and beliefs across the major religious traditions (e.g., Islam, Daoism, Christianity, Buddhism) along with other beliefs and worldviews (e.g., atheism, varied folk beliefs). A non-religious or non-mainstream spiritual perspective assessed in scientific studies is often relegated to the category of the “Nones”/Nonreligious, a practice that is criticized by Coleman and Jong (Chap. 5, this volume) for obscuring the complexity of these beliefs and practices. Perhaps most importantly, the current measurement practices appear to be insensitive to capturing fundamental differences between Western and non-Western religious and spiritual beliefs and practices (Ai, Bjorck, Huang, & Appel, 2013). A key area of difference between these two traditions centers on what constitutes something that is deemed Sacred. Although the concept sacred is shared by Western and non-Western believers, these two broad R/S traditions diverge in both (a) the nature of things considered to be Sacred and (b) ways in which an individual connects with it. In regard to its nature, Western R/S (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) tends to define divinity in a personalized view as, for example, God or the Holy Ghost. Many local or ethnic-specific spiritualties, in contrast, practiced by indigenous populations (e.g., Native Americans, certain Central and East Asian tribes) worships animals (e.g., White buffalo, cow, eagle) or other sacred objects (e.g., spirits of holy mountains, rivers, or crystal). Moving yet further away from a personalized view of divinity, numerous Asian religious and spiritual traditions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Hinduism) favor multi-faceted, depersonalized, or abstract ideas of Sacredness (e.g., cosmos, universal spirit, energy, nature, or society). These may aim to encapsulate the ultimate meaning of life, but do not include a personalized supreme being that thinks or behaves as a god-like being. Although some Eastern notions of Sacred may strike as secular or even atheistic to the Western eye, they are nevertheless imbued in Eastern religious traditions with divine-like qualities and reflect a spiritual essence. The diverse nature and meaning of spiritual belief systems may help explain cross-cultural differences in ways people connect with that which is Sacred to them. Western individuals may relate to God through an emotional tie (e.g., love or anger) and/or personalized behaviors (e.g., collaborative coping, religious struggle; see Ai, Peterson, Tice, Paloutzian, & Croney-Clark, Chap. 20, this volume; Oman, Plante, Boorman, & Harris, Chap. 21, this volume; Stauner, Exline, Grubbs, & Pargament, Chap. 7, this volume). Both approaches exemplify a personal relationship with God or other supreme force that exists apart from the individual’s consciousness. Similarly, ethnic or indigenous worshipers may perceive divine messages or receive divine character strengths from sacred animals (e.g., courage from eagles).

Introduction

7

Eastern believers, however, pursue complete unity with their Sacred entity through practices such as mindfulness aimed at enlightenment in Buddhism and Hinduism (see Ng & Wang, Chap. 15, this volume), health and longevity in Daoism, or building moral consciousness and conduct in Confucianism (see Ai, Wink, Tice, Kastenmuller, & Yu, Chap. 4, this volume). All these diverse ways of connecting with something regarded as Sacred share the same meaning in Eastern spirituality, an integration of the person with a coherent whole. Given the vast cultural differences in spiritual worldviews and practices, it makes sense that many items in traditional Euro-centric R/S measures (e.g., “How much do you love God?”, “How often do you attend church?”) fail to capture the core experiences of non-Western believers whose faith is not centered on a personal God. Understanding and assessment of the diverse R/S worldviews is further complicated by internal differences embedded within a single overarching religious tradition or context. For instance, many non-Western cultural traditions share a collectivist orientation despite geographic and ethnic differences in spiritual beliefs (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, various indigenous practices). More complication arises from a disjunction between religious beliefs and practices that may cut across the various traditions. Despite the fundamental differences between Buddhism and Christianity, Catholicism and Tibetan Buddhism, for example, embrace a hierarchical religious structure led by various faith leaders (Pope and Cardinals vs. Living Buddha and Lamas). In contrast, Protestantism and Zen Buddhism focus more on individualized practices and a decentralized religious organization. Despite these differences, all spiritual belief systems, nevertheless, grapple with the same existential issues such as who we are, why we are here, what our future holds, and what makes our lives and deaths meaningful. In this book, we therefore construe spirituality as broad and overarching concept, a significant human dimension that provides meaning and motivation in life (see Park, George, & Ai, Chap. 6, this volume), irrespective of underlying worldviews or cultures, whether they be religious or not. Given our construal, we will not offer a uniform definition of spirituality, nor will we attempt to reconcile all the different perspectives regarding its meaning and underlying practices. Rather, we allowed all the chapter contributors to conceptualize and operationalize the concept in their own way. They were encouraged to adopt a problem-solving approach and to evaluate the topic of their inquiry through a theoretical and socio-cultural lens that they deemed most appropriate to the assessment tool they were describing. To this end, we strongly encouraged contributors to incorporate in their chapters cutting-edge theoretical and empirical developments in the field of psychology (e.g., positive and negative emotions, coping, terror management, human development, resilience, personality). As for Objective (3), mobilizing the synergy in a cross-cultural endeavor to achieve an inter-disciplinarily shared scientific innovation, based on their long-­ standing research on diverse spiritual concepts, Amy Ai and Paul Wink felt that the time was right to pull together disparate efforts by more and less well published scholars in the field of R/S. With that aim in mind, we organized a symposium at the 2016 APA Convention in Denver, Colorado, conducted by Kevin Harris, where we

8

A. L. Ai and P. Wink

invited a group of scholars to present their research on what we deemed to be non-­ traditional measures of R/S. Following the symposium, we invited its participants to convert their presentations to chapters in this edited volume. We augmented the list of contributors in several ways. We contacted a number of additional contributors within and beyond the APA, whose research interests met our criterion of extending the assessment of R/S beyond the traditional Judeo-Christian perspectives. Some of these researchers were well-established scholars in the field of psychology of religion; they provided chapters discussing well-validated measures that have been translated into many languages and used extensively in cross-cultural research (e.g., Paloutzian et al., Chap. 17, this volume; Plante, Chap. 18, Streib, Klein, Keller, & Hood, Chap. 19, this volume). Others were invited to contribute chapters describing less well-validated measures that we considered to be important to our aim of capturing the diversity of R/S experiences. These latter contributions included chapters on self-report scales used with Muslim populations and for a Buddhist concept of mindfulness, as well as measurement of spirituality among Latino adolescents (Amer, Chap. 13, Saritoprak & Exline, Chap. 14, Ng & Wang, Chap. 15, King et  al., Chap. 16, this volume). We further extended invitations to participate to a group of European researchers who captured the newly evolved spiritual landscape involving a blending of different religious traditions (e.g., New Age spiritualties; see Houtman &Tromp, Chap. 3, this volume) and the proliferation of non-believers (Coleman & Jong; Chap. 5, this volume). Contributors to each chapter were requested to specify explicitly the connections of their topic to developments in the larger field of psychology or other social sciences on R/S concepts, to provide theoretical foundations for their measures, to highlight the distinctive contributions that their survey could offer, to specify the utility and critique the scales they presented, and to suggest multicultural applications. We asked that each chapter meet three criteria. It had to provide a theory-­driven assessment of particular spiritual measures, discuss their psychometric properties, and evaluate their applicability to a diverse world. The broad aim for each contribution is to provide data on assessment tools that can be used in future research. Collectively, we also aim to enhance the substantive understanding of how R/S factors influence live outcomes, including health, well-being, and personality functioning, in order to inform clinical practices and policy-making relevant to existential issues. Holding a high standard of empirical evidence, this peer-reviewed book offers the promise of integrating the study of diverse spiritualities into the mainstream of social sciences, including psychology, but not through a “one-size-fits-all” approach. As noted by Richards, Paloutzian, & Sanders (Chap. 2, this volume), the majority of existing R/S measures are weak in empirical validation, resulting in their underutilization in mainstream of psychological research. All research reports included in this book are based on sound design, including robust data, samples, and procedures. We attempted to implement Hill and Pargament’s (2003) call for innovative measures and methods in the field of R/S studies. To meet this challenge, contributors to our volume were encouraged to provide information on the structure of their scales, employ multiple studies, and include, where available, findings from ethnically and culturally diverse samples. Although all studies drew sizable samples

Introduction

9

from students to community dwellers, some included multiple samples with significantly different demographic characteristics and from various geographic locations in the world used to validate the structure of the scale and provide substantive research findings.

3  The Organization of the Book This book has six parts. Part I presents the background, rationale, trends, and emerging solutions in an over century-long endeavor to measure spirituality and religion. In Chap. 2 (this volume), Richards, Paloutzian, and Sanders provide an overall review of these key issues and highlight major assessment challenges, despite the flourishing since the 1960s in the development of measures assessing religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. Whereas social scientists, historians, philosophers, and theologians all agree that religion/spirituality are universal phenomena, the Western cultural milieu and a Christian theological framework underlying most assessment tools means that they do not meet the needs for studying R/S in a diverse world. Part II includes chapters addressing advanced topics related to spiritual worldviews. In Chap. 3 (this volume), Houtman and Tromp explore the post-Christian spiritual landscape predominant in Western Europe. In doing so, they provide evidence for the reliability and validity of the Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS), assessing, among other concepts, perennialism (the notion that all religions capture the same ultimate truth), bricolage (the disposition to draw on different religious traditions to make personal sense of spirituality), and immanence (the belief that the sacred is an ever-present force throughout the cosmos). In Chap. 4 (this volume), Ai, Wink, Tice, Kastenmüller, and Yu report findings on the Connection of Soul (COS) self-­report scale that assesses God-centered, cosmic-spiritual, and secular conceptualizations of life after death reflecting three dominant worldviews central to the monotheism predominant in the Western world, Buddhism and Hinduism prevalent in South Asia, and the East-Asian traditions steeped in Confucianism and Daoism, respectively. They provide evidence on how each of these conceptualizations of afterlife relate to personality, well-being engagement in everyday life-tasks and R/S orientations. Coleman and Jong (Chap. 5, this volume) consider the status of the “nones” or the growing number of individuals who identify as nonreligious. Five existing measures (the Measure of Atheist Discrimination Experiences (MADE), the Microaggressions Against Non-Religious Individuals Scale (MANRIS), the Reasons of Atheists and Agnostics for Nonbelief in God’s Existence Scale (RANGES), the Dimensions of Secularity (DoS) scale, and the Humanism Scale (H-Scale)) are reviewed to demonstrate that just like religiosity, non-religiosity is a multidimensional phenomenon with a plurality of meanings that cannot be fully captured by the categories of “none”/ nonreligious that tend to predominate in most R/S questionnaires. Park, George, and Ai (Chap. 6, this volume) argue that the quest for existential meaning is a central concern of human beings across diverse worldviews and has

10

A. L. Ai and P. Wink

constituted a central theme in both Western and Eastern religions as individuals try to make sense of adversity, suffering, and death. Findings from their Multidimensional Existential Meaning Scale (MEMS) are used to show the advantages of conceptualizing and measuring meaning in term of its three components—comprehension, purpose, and mattering—rather than assessing meaning with an aggregated single factor instrument. Stauner, Exline, Grubbs, and Pargament (Chap. 7, this volume) claim that R/S struggles are a universal phenomenon that affects both religious individuals irrespective of their spiritual beliefs and practices but are also found among persons who identify as not religious. Their findings indicate high stability over time of the Religious and Spiritual Struggles (RSS) scale that consists of six sources or domains of spiritual struggles (divine, demon, interpersonal, moral, ultimate meaning, and doubt). Part III is devoted to measures devoted to the assessment of spiritual emotions and experiences. Ai, Wink and Gall (Chap. 8, this volume) report findings on the Reverence in Religious and Secular Contexts (RRSC) Scale, a checklist that (a) distinguishes reverence as a positive sacred emotion from other related positive emotions (e.g., awe, elevation) and (b) assesses feelings of reverence in both religious and secular (e.g., nature, interactions with others) settings. Findings from an extensive medical follow-up study are used to show the role played by reverence in recovery from cardiac surgery. In addition, data from two college samples demonstrate the differential relationship between reverence in religious and secular settings and two basic personality types characterized by either adjustment to conventional societal norms or an emphasis on personal growth. In Chap. 9 (this volume), Friedman describes his Self-Expansiveness Level Form (SELF), a self-report measure that assesses an interconnected sense of secular-­ naturalistic self that is similar to, yet distinct from, spirituality or mysticism. Employing a transpersonal view of spirituality and psychology, Harris construes the self as malleable, and expansive over space and time. In Chap. 10 (this volume), Ai, Peterson, Koenig, Paloutzian, and Harris argue that coping with adversities through private prayer is a cross-faith and cross-cultural experience akin to William James’s (1982) conception of prayer in distress; yet frequency measures of prayer in most population studies may not capture its function in clinical and crisis-based studies. The information from three studies in samples with very different characteristics and traumatic events demonstrate the appropriate psychometric properties of their measure, Using Private Prayer for Coping (UPPC), elucidate the function of prayer coping, and the mechanisms associated with its efficacy. Then, in Chaps. 11 and 12, Lazar evaluates the psychometric properties and research findings associated with two widely used measures of spirituality: the Spiritual Orientation Inventory (SOI) and the Expression of Spirituality Inventory (ESI). The SOI as a measure of humanistic spirituality is not confined to a religious context. Its subscales, focusing on cognitive, experiential, and affective aspects of functioning, measure spiritual dimensions traditionally associated with religious beliefs such as transcendence and sacredness of life but also includes subscales assessing meaning and purpose in life, altruism, idealism, and awareness of the tragic that are pertinent to the lives of religious and not conventionally religious

Introduction

11

individuals, as well as non-believers. Lazar reviews findings from over 20-peer reviewed publications using the SOI. Unlike the SOI, the ESI was developed based on a factor analysis of numerous existing spirituality-related measures. Its five subscales assess cognitive orientation toward spirituality, an ­experiential/phenomenological dimension, traditional religiousness, experiencing of paranormal beliefs, and sense of well-being. Along with providing a wealth of data on the psychometric properties of the ESI, Lazar discusses issues associated with inclusion of paranormal beliefs and sense of well-being in a measure of spirituality. Part IV turns our attention to spirituality measures intend to be used with under-­ investigated religious traditions and populations. In Chap. 13 (this volume), Amer critiques the focus on Christianity among mainstream field of psychology of religion and the resulting misapplications in research on Islam, one of the fastest growing religion around the globe. To address the cultural sensitivity issues and paucity of empirical research among Muslims, she reviews multiple measures designed specifically to assess religious beliefs and practices in this population. In Chap. 14 (this volume), Saritoprak and Exline investigate positive aspects of spiritual struggle— jihad—from an Islamic perspective. Using the Spiritual Jihad Mindset Measure (SJMM), they find an association between jihad and spiritual growth, and between jihad and growth resulting from traumatic experiences. In addition, embarking on a jihad had a positive effect among Muslim adults on wellbeing as well as being associated with virtues of patience, gratitude, and forgiveness. Ng and Wang (Chap. 15, this volume) discuss key differences between Buddhist and Western practices of mindfulness. Whereas Western practices emphasize non-­ judgmental observation of experiences for cultivating calmness, Buddhist meditation tends to focus on full awareness of suffering. Based on an overview of Buddhist original concepts (e.g.,  the notions of impermanence and dissolution of the  self common  to major branches of Buddhism), Ng and Wang developed The Body-­ Mind-­Senses Awareness Scale (BMSAS) and the Greed-Distress Non-Clinging Scale (GDNCS) measuring two key features of Buddhist mindfulness practices: awareness and non-clinging. King, Yoo, Vaughn, Tirrell, Geldhof, and Dowling (Chap. 16, this volume) validate two of the three dimensions (sense of transcendence and fidelity but not contribution) of the Measure of Diverse Adolescent Spirituality (MDAS) in two Central American samples involving both Catholic and Protestant believers. The Transcendence and Fidelity subscales demonstrate statistical invariance among both Mexican and Salvadoran youths. The findings of their research indicate that the MDAS is a valid measure to be used with Latino populations. Part V reports on measures of more specific spirituality-based concepts. This part is opened by Ray Paloutzian et al. (Chap. 17, this volume) overviewing his Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS) that has been used in approximately 300 studies and was translated into at least 10 languages (Paloutzian, Agilkaya-Sahin, Bruce, Nilsen Kvande, Malinakova, Fernandes Marques, Musa, Nojomi, Öztürk, Putri, & You, Chap. 17, this volume). The SWBS consists of a religious well-being dimension and an existential well-being subscale that consists of items phrased in non-religious language. In their chapter, Paloutzian and his collaborators present the rich data,

12

A. L. Ai and P. Wink

accumulated since 1982, on the relationship between the SWBS and its two dimensions and, among others, a variety of mental health outcomes including anxiety, depression, stress, and PTSD. The unavoidable language-bound and culture-bound limitations of using spirituality-related measures in translation are discussed. In Chap. 18 (this volume), Plante defines faith as engagement with spiritual and religious beliefs and institutions that can be applied to a wide range of diverse religious traditions including theistic and non-theistic worldviews. His well-established Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (SCSRFQ), translated into more than a dozen languages, has proven to be useful in predicting positive outcomes in medical, psychiatric, and educational settings. In Chap. 19 (this volume), Streib, Klein, Keller, and Hood discussed the highly researched and validated Mysticism Scale (M-scale). The scale assesses three dimensions of mystical experiences: introversive mysticism involving the perception of timelessness and spacelessness, extroversive mysticism or the experience of inner subjectivity and unity with all things, and interpretation (the experience of positive affect, sacredness and the revelation of a new view of reality). Based on wealth of cross-cultural empirical evidence, Streib et al. argue that mysticism is at the core of spiritual experiences shared among diverse religious and non-religious believers. Ai, Tice, Peterson, Paloutzian, and Croney-Clark (Chap. 20, this volume) suggest that drawing strengths or support from a spiritual relationship may be a universal human experience across various traditions in human history. The Perceived Spiritual Support Scale (PSSS) shows not only adequate psychometric properties but across a number of studies mediates the relationship between faith, prayer, and other sociodemographic characteristics and positive outcomes following adversity, including open heart surgery and such collective traumatic experience as 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In Chap. 21 (this volume), Oman, Plante, Boorman, and Harris define spiritual modeling as the ability to learn from a significant member of one’s immediate community or a prominent spiritual figure. Such modeling has been described in research literature as an important source of self-efficacy. Their Spiritual Modeling Self-Efficacy—Stand-Alone (SMSA-SA) scale has two dimensions, community-based models and prominent models, correlated but separable from each other and differentially predictive of various outcomes. In Chap. 22 (this volume), Nynas, Kontala, and Lassander offer a novel approach to the assessment of R/S in the form of the Faith Q-sort (FQS), an ipsative (person centered) measure that enables the uncovering of various patterns of religious and spiritual beliefs across different countries and cultures. Unlike self-report scales with a fixed response format, the Q-set methodology provides respondents with a set of items that they can place, based on their own preferences, into a set of categories ranging from characteristic to uncharacteristic. Nynas and colleagues use this methodology to uncover similarities and differences in various types of faith orientations in 12 countries spanning Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, and Africa. At the end of this volume, in Part VI, Wink, Ai, and Paloutzian discuss the theoretical and methodological lessons learned from the chapters included in the present volume. They highlight the vibrancy of research into diverse spiritualities. As shown

Introduction

13

by many of the book’s chapters, they argue that culturally specific measures enhance our ability to explain and understand the complexities of spiritual phenomena in humanity and help us appreciate religious traditions other than our own and humanize “the other.”

4  Final Thoughts As social scientists begin to tackle increasingly diversified belief systems around the globe, new challenges lie in assessing R/S concepts across different beliefs and cultures. An immediate gap for social scientists to fill is to develop new and further validate existing instruments assessing R/S concepts across diverse beliefs. To address this gap, this book is organized to reflect a collaborative scientific effort to advance R/S assessment with solid psychometric information on a variety of measures reflecting today’s global trends. Understandably, not all measures in this book are in the same stage of development. Although several scales have been well-established for decades, researched in various cultures, and translated into many  languages (e.g., the SWBS and the SCSRFQ; see Paloutizian et al., Chap. 17, and Plante, Chap. 18, this volume), some brand-new scales will need more validation and replication in other samples and other cultures. A few new concepts also need more theoretical enrichment and fuller research into their underlying constructs and subconstructs. Despite these imperfections, we hope that this volume will provide a critical turning point in religious and spiritual research and practice toward a new future in which not only mainstream social scientists, including psychologists, but a wider gamut of behavioral and mental health professionals as well, will address spirituality in its diverse manifestations in their scientific investigation and practices.

References Ai, A. L., Bjorck, J. P., Huang, B., & Appel, H. (2013). Asian American spirituality and religion: Inherent diversity, uniqueness, and long-lasting psychological influences. In K.  Pargament, J. Exline, & J. Jones (Eds.), The APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality (Vol. I, pp. 581–598). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Ai, A. L., Wink, P., & Shearer, M. (2011). Secular reverence predicts shorter hospital length of stay among middle-aged and older patients following open-heart surgery. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 34(12), 532–541. Ai, A. L., Wink, P., Tice, T. N., Bolling, S. F., Wasin, A., & Shearer, M. (2009). Prayer and reverence in naturalistic, aesthetic, and socio-moral contexts predicted fewer complications following coronary artery bypass. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 570–581. Cox, D., & Jones, R.  P. (2017). America’s changing religious identity. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.prri.org/research/ american-religious-landscape-christian-religiously-unaffiliated Dillon, M., & Wink, P. (2007). In the course of a lifetime: Tracing religious belief, practice, and change. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

14

A. L. Ai and P. Wink

Hill, P.  C., & Pargament, K.  I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality. American Psychologist, 58, 64–74. James, W. (1982). The varieties of religious experience: A study in human nature. New York, NY: Penguin Books. (Original work published 1901–1902). Lipka, M. (2017). Europe’s Muslim population will continue to grow—But how much depends on migration. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/12/04/ europes-muslim-population-will-continue-to-grow-but-how-much-depends-on-migration/ Miller, W. R., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. American Psychologist, 58, 24–35. Pew Forum. (2009). Many Americans mix multiple faiths: Eastern, new age beliefs widespread. Retrieved from http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=490 Pew Forum. (2012). “Nones” on the rise: One-in-five adults have no religious affiliation. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/Unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx Pew Research Center. (2018a). Religion & public life. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/ religious-landscape-study/frequency-of-praye Pew Research Center. (2018b). When Americans say they believe in God, what do they mean? Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/25/ when-americans-say-they-believe-in-god-what-do-they-mean/ VanderWeele, T. J., Balboni, T. A., & Koh, H. K. (2017). Health and spirituality. JAMA, 318(6), 519–520. Wuthnow, R. (1998). After heaven: Spirituality in America since the 1950s. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Amy L. Ai,  PhD, MS, MA, MSW, is an interdisciplinary researcher and professor at Florida State University. She received her PhD and three master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her academic career has focused on cross-­disciplinary research on human strengths, spirituality, health and mental health, existential crisis, gerontology, and well-being. Her studies have been funded by grants from federal, state, international, and private agencies. She is a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, American Psychological Association (Divisions 56, 38, 36, and 20), and Gerontological Society of America, a Hartford Geriatric Faculty Scholar, and a Fulbright Senior Specialist and Distinguished Chair. Paul Wink,  PhD, MA, is the Nellie Zuckerman Cohen & Anne Cohen Heller Professor in Health Science and a professor in the Psychology Department at Wellesley College. He holds a PhD in personality psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and was a visiting faculty at the University of Michigan. Dr. Wink’s research interests are in the area of adult development and aging broadly defined to include psychosocial functioning, and the interface between personality, life course transitions, and socio-historical context. His extensive research on narcissism focuses on the differences between healthy and pathological (overt and covert) narcissism. He has published extensively in the areas of religiousness and spirituality, adult development, generativity, and narcissism. Wink’s research has been supported by grants from the Open Society Institute, the Lilly Foundation, the Fetzer Institute in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, and the John Templeton Foundation.

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology P. Scott Richards, Raymond F. Paloutzian, and Peter W. Sanders

Abstract  The purpose of this chapter is to articulate reasons why religious and spiritual measures that are valid across different faith traditions and cultures are needed in psychological science and practice. We explain why measuring and assessing spirituality and religiousness is relevant for researchers and practitioners, review some historical background about assessment of religiousness and spirituality, and acknowledge some practical and conceptual challenges to measuring and assessing these constructs. We conclude by proposing some ideas that may help in the effort to bring religious and spiritual measures and assessment more fully into the mainstream of psychological science and practice. Keywords  Spiritual measures · Spiritual outcomes · Spiritual assessment challenges · Internet assessment · Religiosity measurement history · Cross-cultural religion/spirituality measures · International spiritual assessment · International psychology of religion/spirituality

1  M  ainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology During the past 30 years, research and scholarship about the role of religion and spirituality in mental and physical health, personality functioning, social attitudes and behavior, and psychotherapy has mushroomed, particularily within the psychology of religion field (Koenig, McCullough, & Larson, 2001; Paloutzian & P. S. Richards (*) Center for Change of Universal Health Services, Inc., Orem, Utah, USA R. F. Paloutzian Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, USA P. W. Sanders Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, USA © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 A. L. Ai et al. (eds.), Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52140-0_2

15

16

P. S. Richards et al.

Park, 2005, 2013; Pargament, Exline, & Jones, 2013; Pargament, Mahoney, & Shafranske, 2013; Richards & Bergin, 2014). Hundreds of research studies on religion and mental health have documented the potential benevolent influence of religious commitment and spirituality and clarified some of its possible negative effects (Koenig et  al., 2001). In addition, basic psychological research has provided insight into the relationships between religiousness and spirituality and many additional dimensions of human functioning, including social psychology, personality, lifespan development, cognition, and group and social dynamics (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003). In the clinical realm, practitioners and researchers with interests in religion and spirituality have developed many different spiritually integrated psychotherapy techniques and approaches (e.g., Pargament, Mahoney, & Shafranske, 2013; Richards & Bergin, 2005, 2014; Sperry & Shafranske, 2005). Spiritual approaches have now been integrated with the healing practices of most Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, and they have been used to treat diverse client populations with a variety of clinical issues (e.g., Richards & Bergin, 2014). The expansion of research about religion and spirituality has been made possible in part by advances in the conceptualization and measurement of these contructs (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003; Hill & Hood, 1999). The psychology and sociology of religion fields have a long history of measuring and assessing religiousness and spirituality (R/S) using cutting edge psychometric methods (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003; Gorsuch, 1984; Moberg, 2002, 2011, 2012). Hundreds of questionnaires and scales of R/S have been constructed and used in psychology and sociology of religion research (e.g., Hill & Hood, 1999; Kapuscinski & Masters, 2010). The R/S scales are overall of reasonable quality with good content and predictive validity and respectable reliabilities (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003; Gorsuch, 1984; Kapuscinski & Masters, 2010). We will say more about the history and current state of the R/S measurement and assessment later in the chapter.

2  W  hy R/S Assessment Is Important for Research and Application We believe that R/S measurement and assessment is relevant to psychological science and practice for several reasons. Almost 35  years ago, Strommen (1984), a psychology of religion expert and editor of Research on Religious Development: A Comprehensive Handbook (Strommen, 1971), wrote that “religious beliefs and values [we have found] are among the best predictors of what people will say or do” (p.  151). This has not changed as we have entered the first two decades of the twenty-first century, where we have been reminded on an almost daily basis of the powerful influence that religion, or non-religion, plays in people’s lives throughout the world—for good and bad.

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

17

In the basic human sciences, such as social psychology, sociology, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, multicultural psychology, health psychology, and trauma psychology, scientists and practitioners who wish to understand human beings must consider the role that religion and spirituality plays in their lives. Researchers in the psychology of religion field have made many valuable contributions to the understandings of how R/S influences human beings (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003), but mainstreaming R/S assessment and ­measurement outside of the psychology of religion subspecialty field remains an important need to advance psychological science. In the clinical research domain, R/S assessment is crucial for advancing understandings about how to help human beings in psychological treatment. The possibility that spiritual or religious growth may help promote and maintain other positive changes in clients’ lives needs scientific investigation (Richards et  al., 2005). Psychotherapy research that assesses client spiritual outcomes could also help ease the concerns or even fears that some religious people have, that psychotherapy might undermine their faith (Richards & Bergin, 2014). This could lead to greater numbers of referrals from religious leaders and the increased usage of mental health services by religious people. We think it is also crucial for practitioners to conduct R/S assessments to monitor and document the effectiveness of their own work. By understanding clients’ spiritual worldviews, psychotherapists are better able to empathically understand each client. R/S assessment can also help clinicians decide if R/S interventions would be indicated with clients and if so, which ones would be most helpful. R/S assessment can also help clinicians determine whether clients’ R/S beliefs are harmful to mental health or if they or if they might be used as a resource to promote healing (Richards & Bergin, 2005).

3  Historical Overview of R/S Measurement The history of measurement in this field can be represented as a sequence of four overlapping but identifiable measurement periods, each with its own manifestations, drawbacks, and unmet needs that lead to the next period. We are now several years into the fourth period, rich with measures, which are beginning to be better validated and more theory-related than in the past. How did the field get here?

3.1  Prelude and Principles Levels of Measurement  A look into deep history reveals that early humans did things that today would be called religious or spiritual. They worshiped gods, believed supernatural agents did things on earth, and believed that people lived in some form after their body died. But not all people believed these things. If we gave ancient

18

P. S. Richards et al.

people a questionnaire that asked, “do you believe in X?” where X could stand for a god, spirit, or soul of a dead person, and the answer could be either “Yes” or “No,” we would be measuring some aspect of some religious variable. At a modern computer, we would code these responses as either a 1 or a 2, the basic criteria for a nominal level of measurement. Surveys given today that ask, “Do you believe in God?” are functionally identical in their nominal level of measurement, in which answer options are limited to “yes” or “no.” Measurement, though, gets far more complex than that. The moment we ask someone how strongly he or she holds a belief, or the degree of assurance that it is true, or how much the teachings of a specific religion are personally accepted, we have changed the level of measurement from a nominal level to an ordinal, interval, or ratio measure—each of which taps increasingly precise aspects of the R/S variables to be assessed. These stepwise aspects make R/S measurement no different from measurement in the rest of science. But there is an aspect of many psychological measures that makes them, and R/S measures in particular, beset with an important interpretive problem. R/S Measures of the Unseen?  For each of the four levels of measurement, a measure of something will have one of two characteristics. The first possible characteristic is analogous to that of any measure of a tangible, physical property of people or things—such as number of kilos in weight, their countable behaviors, or the number of hairs on their head (if you wished to count them)—measures for which the meaning is in principle a publically accessible index about which, assuming accurate counting, no one will disagree. The frequency of praying, amount of money given to the church, mosque, or synagogue, and documenting a performance of a religious ritual are measures of this sort—scholars agree that the frequency of prayer equals the number of times a person prayed in a unit of time. That is objectivity. The second possible characteristic of R/S measures, however, is not objective in the sense illustrated above. They are instead measures of something unseen— about whose meanings people can disagree greatly. For example, if you are asked to rate the strength of your belief in Doctrine D on a 1–7 scale (where 1 = not at all, and 7 = totally), scholars agree on the numeral you selected, but they may disagree greatly about what that number means. If you answer 6 that “My Faith is the most important thing in my life,” does that mean you will die for your Faith, kill others for Faith, give money to the poor because you think it is a good deed, or forgive someone who hurt you because you think doing so honors your Faith? One cannot tell. The exact meaning of the 6 to the individual cannot be known to external observes; it may not even be known to the individual who answered 6 to the question. Developing valid, reliable, and objective measures of subjective mental properties, essential for some psychology of R/S research and applications, is far more difficult than assessing tangible our countable properties of things or events. (See Paloutzian et al., Chap. 17, 2021, this volume, for further elaboration of this point.) But of course, these challenges do not apply only to psychological researchers interested in measures of aspects of religiousness and spirituality. Behavioral scientists who study many other subjective mental properties, including intelligence, emotions, psychiatric symptoms, personality functioning, attitudes, values,

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

19

and so forth, also face such challenges. Clarity about the issues in the above discussion is important in all domains of behavioral science. Can We Measure “R” and “S”?  Another conundrum is inherent in the language we use to talk about R/S measurement: We cannot measure religion or spirituality. We can measure only variables that represent aspects of particular religions and spiritualities. This is because neither religion nor spirituality is a singularity. They are complex cultural concepts with highly contested meanings (Taves, 2015), some of which are complete opposites of each other (Prothero, 2010). This is why we need to talk about religions and religiousness, not religion, and be clear about which aspect of religiousness of which religion we are measuring when we assess anything within the R/S orbit—hoping to make an accurate attribution of what it means (Paloutzian & Park, 2021, in press).

3.2  From 1899 to 1969: The Lull One of the first books titled the psychology of … anything was Starbuck’s (1899) Psychology of Religion. A little gem for its time, its methods of measurement were precursors to those of today. In particular, he had people answer questions about the development of their religious life, and then tabulated (i.e., measured) in what time of life a religious awakening may have occurred. His landmark research lead to the conclusion, often stated still today, that adolescence is the time of life when someone is most prone to religious conversion or awakening. Measurement was inherent in this field when it began. There followed more than a half-century in which questionnaires were used to measure religious variables. Typically, these asked questions about belief in God, denominational affiliation, and similar simple variables. Such research was relatively easily interpretable in its time, because it was when denomination meant something. (See Argyle and Beit-Hallahmi (1975) for documentation of many studies of this sort.) There were also classical “grand” psychological theories at that time (e.g., Freud, Jung, variations of Behaviorism, Gestalt Psychology), but the questionnaire data and the theories were basically irrelevant to each other. This circumstance sustained for more than a half century, so that as late as the end of the 1960s, Dittes (1969), in his landmark chapter on the psychology of religion in the Handbook of Social Psychology, said that we have theories and large amounts of data, but somehow each seems to have no relevance to the other. This circumstance changed.

3.3  A Mid-Century Spike To document this change, Hill and Hood’s (1999) Measures of Religiosity listed all psychology of R/S measures extant through the end of the twentieth century. There were only 15 such measures published in the 60 years between 1900 and 1960. In

20

P. S. Richards et al.

the single decade of the 1960s, an additional 16 were added. The remainder of the 126 R/S measures reviewed in the book were developed in the years before the turn of the millennium. The midcentury period had set the stage for movement in this field. An important moment occurred when Allport and Ross (1967) published an article in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP), the basis of which was the relationship between scores on the Intrinsic-Extrinsic Religious Orientation Scale (I-E ROS) and racial prejudice in churches of six Christian denominations in the Eastern U.S. Shortly thereafter, Robinson and Shaver (1973) published Measures of Social Psychological Attitudes that included a chapter on measures of religiousness. The I-E ROS was among them, and this triggered a great many studies that investigated the relation between I-E and seemingly everything else. The I-E ROS lead to variations and refinements (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989; Gorsuch & Venable, 1983), critiques (Donahue, 1985; Kirkpatrick, 1989; Kirkpatrick & Hood Jr., 1990), the addition of the Quest measure (Altemeyer & Hunsberger, 1992; Batson & Schoenrade, 1991a, 1991b), and translations into other languages and use in other countries (Ghorbani & Watson, 2006; Socha, 1999). Even with its flaws, it is still in use today. Somehow, the publication of research with an R/S measure in an elite mainstream journal by a highly esteemed renowned author helped promote a significant amount of activity across a broad swath of the psychology of R/S. This was the end of the beginning.

3.4  Late Century Expansion Many measures followed. A short list includes measures of Faith Development (Fowler, 1981, 1986, 1991), an extrapolation based on Kohlberg’s (1969) stages of moral reasoning, later transformed into measures of Faith Styles (Streib, 2001; Streib, Hood Jr., & Klein, 2010), and reinterpreted in context of women’s issues (Gilligan, 1982). Later, because the original method of measuring faith development required scoring and interpreting lengthy interviews, subsequent measures of faith development were developed in questionnaire format (Leak, 2008). Additional measures assessed prayer (Spilka & Ladd, 2013), Christian Orthodoxy (Fullerton & Hunsberger, 1982), right wing authoritarianism (Altemeyer & Hunsberger, 1992), religious fundamentalism (Altemeyer & Hunsberger, 1992, 2004), religious coping (Pargament, Koenig, & Perez, 2000), degree of spirituality (Piedmont, 2001), degree of spiritual well-being (Ellison, 1983; Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982), values (Rokeach, 1973; Schwartz, 1992); mysticism (Hood Jr., 1975), religious doubts (Altemeyer, 1988; Hunsberger, McKenzie, Pratt, & Pancer, 1993; Hunsberger, Pratt, & Pancer, 2002), and many related constructs. Two key points clarify what these measures did and did not do. First, they were both clinical and non-clinical in what they were about. They reflected the across-­ the-­board lines of research in the filed—clinical, developmental, social psychologi-

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

21

cal, motivational, belief-related, experience-related, value-laden, and agnosticism, affording research across the board on psychology of R/S topics. Second, due to the logical constraints inherent in the concept of religion, no measure directly assessed religion as such; in all cases they were measures of variables that represented aspects of religiousness as a human behavior, not religion. They were attempts at doing psychology. It was in the wake of these beginnings that the new millennium began. It was a great service to the field that the Hill and Hood (1999) volume was published when it was, because it served as the resource where someone could easily locate all extant measures at his or her fingertips. Not only did this facilitate psychology of R/S research in the U.S., but also it made the English versions of the scales easily accessible to international scholars. This facilitated the development of the internationalization of the field, a process that forced (and is forcing) some scholars in the West to dig deeper into the psychological processes we are aiming to understand, instead of merely exporting Western ideas to the rest of the world.

3.5  The New Millennium: Going Global The attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 changed not only the political world. It also changed the psychology of R/S. In short order, mainstream psychology began to take this topic seriously, research in the psychology of R/S rapidly expanded internationally, and publications of R/S research accelerated on a steep curve (Paloutzian, 2017b). Three milestones accent these trends. First, three landmark handbook chapters on the measurement of R/S variables were published by Hill (2005, 2013) and Hill and Edwards (2013), and supplemented by a chapter by Büssing (2012) on measures of R/S variables applicable to the field of spirituality in healthcare. These are the most up-to-date and authoritative discussions of R/S measures at the present time. Second, new creatively designed assessment tools are appearing. To highlight three examples, the Views of Suffering Scale measures 10 dimensions of theodicy, the first of its kind. The Multidimensional Existential Meaning Scale (George & Park, 2017) offers an intellectually rich advance over past measures with a tripartite assessment of life meaning that consists of comprehension, purpose, and mattering. The robustness of anti-atheist prejudice has been cleverly measured by way of cognitive errors (Giddings & Dunn, 2016). Third, international scholarship on the measurement of R/S variables has increased as indicated by scales developed in English being translated into other languages, and by measures developed by international scholars in their own language beginning to be translated into English. For example, Abu-Raiya, Pargament, Mahoney, and Stein (2008) developed a psychological measure of Islamic religiousness, Tarakeshwar, Pargament, and Mahoney (2003a, 2003b) published measures of Hindu coping and Hindu pathways, Unterrainer et  al. (Unterrainer, Ladenhauf, Moazedi, Wallner-Liebmann, & Fink, 2010; Unterrainer, Nelson, Collicutt, & Fink,

22

P. S. Richards et al.

2012) created the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being, and Schnell (2015) developed an instrument to assess dimensions of secularity. Psychology is beginning to go global. The scales cited above are among the beginnings of scholarship to help internationalize the field of the psychology of R/S. Due to the need for cross-cultural validation of not merely scales but individual items (Wolf, Ihm, Maul, & Taves, 2021), the future will likely show that what is most psychologically important is not the mere answers to questions, but the meanings that underpin those answers (Paloutzian & Park, 2014, 2021). If we take this to heart, our international scholarship can help lead us toward global understanding.

4  Challenges with Measuring R/S Although many reliable and valid R/S measures have been developed, they have rarely been used by researchers in the mainstream behavioral sciences (Richards & Bergin, 2005). In addition, few practitioners use R/S assessment or treatment outcomes measures in their clinical work (Richards & Bergin, 2005). Furthermore, most R/S measures were developed within a Western (American) cultural milieu and a Christian theological framework; thus their suitability for other countries and religious traditions is unclear (Kapuscinski & Masters, 2010). Finally, R/S measures are rarely published and distributed commercially, which has further limited their accessibility and ease of use for both clinicians and researchers. Another major challenge with measuring and assessing R/S is the great religious and spiritual diversity that exists in the world (Moberg, 2002, 2012). Many philosophers, theologians, and social scientists agree that religiousness and spirituality are universal human concerns and basic conditions of human existence (e.g, Sue, Bingham, Porche-Burke, & Vasquez, 1999). There is tremendous diversity, though, in how R/S is understood and expressed. Approximately 80% of the world’s population identify with a religious tradition. The religious diversity in the world includes five major Western or theistic religions (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Sikhism) and six major Eastern world religions (i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Shintoism, Confucianism, and Taoism) (Richards & Bergin, 2014; Smart, 1993, 1994). Each of these world religions has numerous sub-divisions or sub-traditions, reflecting great diversity in belief and practice within each of them (Richards & Bergin, 2014; Smart, 1993, 1994). Large numbers of people also find meaning outside of one of the major world religions within transpersonal, humanistic, and existential philosophical traditions (e.g., Finnegan, 2008; Lukoff & Lu, 2005; Tacey, 2004). Others understand spirituality in their own ways without adherence to formal institutional or philosophical frameworks (Finnegan, 2008; Sperry & Shafranske, 2005; Tacey, 2004) and about 16% of the world’s population consider themselves atheistic, agnostic, or nonreligious (Lee, 2015). Nonreligious people must also grapple with existential and spiritual questions about the origins of life and the meaning and purpose of life, human suffering, and death. Within this c­ ontext of global diversity that exists in the world,

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

23

how can behavioral scientists develop R/S measures that respect and honor it? This is a daunting task, but one that this book aspires to help address. There is also much diversity and some controversy about how R/S should be operationalized and measured (Moberg, 2002, 2011, 2012; Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott, 1999). Although early researchers often used unidimensional and single-­ item measures when studying religiosity (e.g., religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance), numerous studies show that religiousness and spirituality are multidimensional constructs (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003). As noted earlier, during the past 50 years, theorists and researchers have described and operationalized many dimensions of religiousness and spirituality (Moberg, 2002, 2012). Several scholars have argued that the large number and great variety of religious and spiritual measures is both a boon and a bane for the behavioral sciences and mental health practitioners (Gorsuch, 1984; Kapuscinski & Masters, 2010; Moberg, 2002, 2011, 2012). One benefit of having a large variety of psychometrically validated R/S measures is that both researchers and practitioners have many choices when looking for ways to assess religion and spirituality in their research and/or therapeutic work. Having a variety of available choices may make it more feasible for researchers and practitioners to select R/S assessment measures that are a good religious and cultural fit for their research studies or clientele (Moberg, 2002). One potential disadvantage of having so many different R/S measures is that it can be confusing for researchers and clinicians to decide which ones to use because there is no widely accepted agreement about how to define and measure R/S variables (Kapuscinski & Masters, 2010; Moberg, 2002, 2012; Paloutzian, 2017a). This lack of conceptual clarity forces researchers and clinicians to cope with “the vast range of confusing and uncatalogued definitions, types of spirituality, research instruments, and their applications” (Moberg, 2012, p. 513). Researchers and clinicians who hope to find universally applicable measures of religiousness or spirituality that are valid and useful across diverse religious and cultural traditions are sure to be disappointed—such measures do not exist (Moberg, 2002, 2012). A natural reaction to the proliferation of R/S assessment measures and conceptual fragmentation and confusion is to attempt to consolidate R/S measures into a superordinate construct that captures the common variance between the measures, creating a common assessment tool (Moberg, 2002). This approach assumes that only the common variance is of value in these measures or that additional measures are extraneous. It is also possible, however, that the proliferation of measures is a necessity and a boon to the field. If the measures are capturing nuanced aspects of a phenomenon even if there is some common variance, then removing these more particular aspects for the sake of consolidation and consensus could be a great loss. Given the inevitable intersection of religion and spirituality with other aspects of cultures, these nuanced differences could be incredibly important to capturing R/S phenomena (Moberg, 2002, 2012). If we rush to consolidate measures, we may be at risk of losing important information about the constructs we are assessing. More importantly, it could lead to measures that erase cultural-specific aspects of R/S from our instruments (Moberg, 2002).

24

P. S. Richards et al.

Nevertheless, the disadvantages of having such an extensive array of R/S measures still exist. How do we prevent ourselves from fragmenting the field by each researcher and clinician using different measures to assess the same phenomenon? The field certainly does not benefit from the duplication of measures. These are difficult issues, but we believe they are the questions that need to be considered in order for R/S assessment to improve and gain greater prominence in mainstream psychology. In the following section, we discuss approaches to R/S assessment that offer novel solutions to these issues.

5  Collaborative Directions for the Future This book illustrates one valuable strategy for addressing the need for R/S measures that have been developed with the goal of meeting the need for differentiated and culturally sensitive measures. The present book brings together a diverse group of researchers, scholars, and practitioners sharing the work they have done. They provide psychometric information for a variety of innovative instruments that appear suitable across diverse groups and beliefs within our increasingly diverse and interactive world. This compendium of measures holds promise for contributing to (1) a better understanding of the role of spirituality and religion across different faith and cultural systems, including non-Western ones, and (2) helps enrich the mainstream of psychological science and practice by providing R/S measures for the purposes of both research and clinical practice. Another important future direction for addressing the need for R/S measures is for researchers to collaborate to avoid unnecessary duplication and to clarify and refine the constructs of R/S. There are several projects currently underway that are attempting to provide means of collaborating and building off of previous work in the field. One initiative is website created by the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). The address for this site is www.thearda.com. The major focus of this site is to provide a centralized database for data gathered from religion research. In addition to providing data, the ARDA’s site has several features that are designed to assist in the measurement of religious constructs (see Bader & Fink, 2017, for a more complete description). The first major feature is a repository of religious measures. This includes access to all items of the measure, the response scales, as well as normative information, the population assessed, and data for individual items. This database can provide a centralized resource for researchers looking to develop or use measures of various religious constructs. In using this, it is possible that duplication could be decreased, and strong existing measures can be discovered by researchers. In addition to having the measures in a centralized location, the ARDA has developed a software called the Measurement Wizard that can be accessed on the site. The Measurement Wizard is the result of a comprehensive effort to categorize all items and measures from the database, thus allowing researchers to easily find measures related to a specific topic. The Measurement Wizard also provides com-

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

25

parative data between measures in similar areas, allowing users to evaluate specific response scales and determine the best way to proceed with measurement with that topic. This effort could help us to refine R/S constructs and ensure that researchers can build on existing efforts in measurement. Researchers can also submit their data to the ARDA site, allowing it to become a part of this effort to refine measurement methods. It is hoped that in the future, more researchers will use sites such as ARDA’s to compare the work they are doing with that of others. R/S assessment would benefit greatly from more researchers contributing to and using the ARDA’s measurement resources. Another important future direction that needs to be addressed how to increase the use of R/S assessments in clinical practice. Most psychotherapists do not use R/S assessments. Although this may be partly due to biases clinicians have toward R/S, it is also possible that it is due to lack of knowledge of where to find them and lack of time to seek out highly specific measures for individual clients. Given the proliferation of R/S measures, even a willing clinician is likely to experience substantial information overload when attempting to identify measures to use in their practice. It is more likely that they will use the measures if they can be presented to them within the context of their daily work instead of requiring them to seek them out. To address this issue, one possible future direction would be the development of software solutions that incorporate machine learning technology to provide personalized recommendations of R/S measures to clinicians. Readers are likely to have encountered such technology in online shopping sites that recommend similar products to those previously purchased. The core concept of this technology is the use of statistical models to predict or recommend materials out of a large database that are most likely to be relevant for specific people in specific situations (Ricci, Rokach, & Shapira, 2015). Applied to R/S measurement, it could be used to recommend measures to therapists that are likely to be relevant to a specific client’s religion, culture, and values. In providing these recommendations, the software would bring new measures to the clinician’s attention based on what is relevant for current clinical needs. If these measures are integrated into the software, they could be easily deployed to clients and could provide feedback reports to therapists. This could provide a means for recommending culture or denomination-specific measures to clinicians, as not all clients would receive the same assessments. Additionally, the results of these measures could help therapists to identify culture-specific aspects of the client’s spirituality and increase the cultural knowledge and competence of the therapist. This approach would require collaboration and in order to create the large database needed to build the models. The machine learning algorithms require that data from the measures be in a common dataset to facilitate comparison. Additionally, in order for the measures to be feasibly available to clinicians, the measures would need to be stored in a common location. Finally, the system would need to be integrated within existing clinician workflows to decrease the time burden required of them. One example of such a system is the Bridges Assessment System (BAS; Sanders, Richards, McBride, & Allen, 2016). The BAS is designed to provide a unified platform for administering and providing feedback for a variety of measures. The BAS

26

P. S. Richards et al.

has a measure building feature that will allow researchers, treatment sites, and therapists to add unique measures to the system, and determine when they want these measures administered in treatment. The BAS is currently being used for data collection in a collaborative project that will involve approximately 20 studies of spiritually-­oriented therapies in nearly a dozen countries. As part of the project, the principal investigators have the ability to add R/S assessments to the BAS and determine at which session of psychotherapy they will be administered to clients. Additionally, two measures will be administered every session, providing a common metric between studies. All data from these studies will be saved in the BAS database, allowing for the creation of a big dataset that has dozens of measures represented. This dataset will provide the basis for creating machine learning models that can recommend measures from the pool that the client has not yet seen but that may be relevant. In the future, the BAS will be used with a variety of R/S and non-R/S measures so that they can be conveniently be located in one place, allowing clinicians to have access to assessments that will prove highly relevant and culturally-specific for their clients. In putting non-R/S and R/S measures in the same location, it becomes more likely that the R/S assessments can be integrated with other measures of clinical concerns. This will create a database of measures that can easily be used in clinical research, and provide seamless integration with clinical practice.

6  Conclusion As social scientists begin to tackle increasingly diversified belief systems in the United States and around the globe, new challenges lie in assessing faith concepts across different beliefs and cultures. An immediate gap for psychologists to meet is creating new or enabling existing instruments to validly and consistently assess faith concepts across diverse beliefs. To help address this gap, the remainder of this book reflects a collaborative scientific effort to advance assessment of R/S variables with solid psychometric information on a variety of measures reflecting today’s global trends. Because of advances in Internet and computer technologies, it is now possible for researchers and practitioners throughout the world to continue collaborative efforts in additional ways to develop, refine, and validate R/S measures. The internet has given us a passport to collaboration (Au, Hertwig, Klatzky, & Tang, 2016).The same technologies will also make it possible to easily disseminate inexpensive, high quality R/S measures useful to both psychological researchers and practitioners, as well as in reports to clinicians and counselors to aid in treatment planning and outcome monitoring.

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

27

References Abu-Raiya, H., Pargament, K.  L., Mahoney, A., & Stein, C. (2008). A psychological measure of Islamic religiousness: Development and evidence for reliability and validity. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18(4), 291–315. https://doi.org/10. 1080/10508610802229270 Allport, G.  W., & Ross, J.  M. (1967). Personal religious orientation and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 432–443. Altemeyer, B. (1988). Enemies of freedom: Understanding right-wing authoritarianism. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Altemeyer, B., & Hunsberger, B. (1992). Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, quest, and prejudice. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 2, 113–133. Altemeyer, B., & Hunsberger, B. (2004). A revised religious fundamentalism scale: The short and sweet of it. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 14(1), 47. Argyle, M., & Beit-Hallahmi, B. (1975). The social psychology of religion. Oxford, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Au, T.  K.-F., Hertwig, R., Klatzky, R.  L., & Tang, Y.-Y. (2016). Passport to collaboration. Association for Psychological Science: Observer, 29(1), 19–22. Bader, C.  D., & Fink, R. (2017). Evaluating survey measures using the ARDA’s measurement wizard. In C. D. Bader (Ed.), Faithful measures: New methods in the measurement of religion (pp. 140–166). New York, NY: New York University Press. Batson, C. D., & Schoenrade, P. (1991a). Measuring religion as quest: 1. Validity concerns. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30, 416–429. Batson, C.  D., & Schoenrade, P. (1991b). Measuring religion as quest: 2. Reliability concerns. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30, 430–447. Büssing, A. (2012). Measures. In M. Cobb, C. M. Puchalski, & B. Rumbold (Eds.), Oxford textbook of spirituality in healthcare (pp. 323–331). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Dittes, J. E. (1969). Psychology of religion. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (Vol. 5, 2nd ed., pp. 602–659). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Donahue, M. J. (1985). Intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness: Review and meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 400–419. Ellison, C.  W. (1983). Spiritual well-being: Conceptualization and measurement. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 11(4), 330–340. Emmons, R.  A., & Paloutzian, R.  F. (2003). The psychology of religion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 377–402. Finnegan, J. (2008). The audacity of spirit: The meaning and shaping of spirituality today. Dublin, Ireland: Veritas Publications. Fowler, J.  W. (1981). Stages of faith: The psychology of human development and the quest for meaning. New York, NY: Harper & Row. Fowler, J. W. (1986). Faith and the structure of meaning. In C. Dykstra & S. Parks (Eds.), Faith development and Fowler (pp. 15–42). Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press. Fowler, J. W. (1991). Stages in faith consciousness. In F. K. Oser & W. G. Scarlett (Eds.), Religious development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 27–45). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Fullerton, J.  T., & Hunsberger, B. (1982). A unidimensional measure of Christian orthodoxy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 21, 317–326. George, L. S., & Park, C. L. (2017). The multidimensional existential meaning scale: A tripartite approach to measuring meaning in life. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(6), 613–627. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2016.1209546 Ghorbani, N., & Watson, P. J. (2006). Religious orientation types in Iranian Muslims: Differences in alexithymia, emotional intelligence, self-consciousness, and psychological adjustment. Review of Religious Research, 47(3), 303–310.

28

P. S. Richards et al.

Giddings, L., & Dunn, T. J. (2016). The robustness of anti-atheist prejudice as measured by way of cognitive errors. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 26(2), 124–135. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Gorsuch, R.  L. (1984). Measurement: The boon and bane of investigating religion. American Psychologist, 39, 228–236. Gorsuch, R.  L., & McPherson, S.  E. (1989). Intrinsic/extrinsic measurement: I/E-revisited and single-item scales. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28(3), 348–354. Gorsuch, R. L., & Venable, G. D. (1983). Development of an “age universal” I-E scale. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 22, 181–187. Hill, C. H., & Hood, R. W. (1999). Measures of religiosity. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press. Hill, P. C. (2005). Measurement in the psychology of religion and spirituality: Current status and evaluation. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 43–61). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Hill, P. C. (2013). Measurement assessment and issues in the psychology of religion and spirituality. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (2nd ed., pp. 48–74). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Hill, P. C., & Edwards, E. (2013). Measurement in the psychology of religiousness and spirituality: Existing measures and new frontiers. In K. Pargament, J. J. Exline, & J. W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality (Vol. 1, pp. 51–77). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Hood, R. W., Jr. (1975). Construction and preliminary validation of a measure of reported mystical experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 14, 29–41. Hunsberger, B., McKenzie, B., Pratt, M., & Pancer, S. M. (1993). Religious doubt: A social psychological analysis. In M. Lynn & D. Moberg (Eds.), Research in the social scientific study of religion (Vol. 5, pp. 27–51). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Hunsberger, B., Pratt, M., & Pancer, S. M. (2002). A longitudinal study of doubts in high school and beyond: Relationships, stability, and searching for answers. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 255–266. Kapuscinski, A. N., & Masters, K. S. (2010). The current status of measures of spirituality: A critical review of scale development. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2, 191–205. Kirkpatrick, L. A. (1989). A psychometric analysis of the Allport-Ross and Feagin measures of intrinsic–extrinsic religious orientation. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 2, 3–28. Kirkpatrick, L.  A., & Hood, R.  W., Jr. (1990). Intrinsic-extrinsic orientations: Boon or bane? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 20, 442–462. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization. In D.  A. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally. Leak, G. (2008). Factorial validity of the faith development scale. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18(2), 123–131. Lee, L. (2015). Recognizing the nonreligious: Reimagining the secular. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Lukoff, D., & Lu, F. (2005). A transpersonal-integrative approach to spiritually-oriented psychotherapy. In E.  P. Shafranske (Ed.), Spiritually oriented psychotherapy (pp.  177–233). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Moberg, D. O. (2002). Assessing and measuring spirituality: Confronting dilemmas of universal and particular evaluative criteria. Journal of Adult Development, 9, 47–60. Moberg, D. O. (2011). Expanding horizons for spirituality research. Retrieved from http://www. hartfordinstitute.org/sociology/spirituality-research.html

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

29

Moberg, D. O. (2012). Expanding horizons for spirituality research. Review of Religious Research, 53, 513–514. Paloutzian, R.  F. (2017a). Invitation to the psychology of religion (3rd ed.). New  York, NY: Guilford. Paloutzian, R. F. (2017b). Psychology of religion in global perspective: Logic, approach, concepts. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 27(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080 /10508619.2017.1241529 Paloutzian, R. F., & Ellison, C. W. (1982). Loneliness, spiritual well-being and the quality of life. In L. A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy (pp. 224–237). New York, NY: Wiley. Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2005). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (2014). Religiousness and spirituality: The psychology of multilevel meaning-making behavior. Religion Brain Behavior, 5(2), 166–178. Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (2021, in press). The psychology of religion and spirituality: How big the tent? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality: forthcoming. Paloutzian, R. F., Agilkaya-Sahin, Z., Bruce, K. C., Kvande, M. N., Malinakova, K., Marques, L. F., … You, S.-K. (2021, this volume). The spiritual Well-being scale (SWBS): Cross-cultural assessment across 5 continents, 10 languages, and 300 studies. In A. L. Ai, P. Wink, R. F. Paloutzian, & K. A. Harris (Eds.), Assessing spirituality in a diverse world. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. Pargament, K. I., Exline, J., & Jones, J. (Eds.). (2013). APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality: Context, theory, and research (Vol. 1). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Pargament, K.  I., Koenig, H.  G., & Perez, L.  M. (2000). The many methods of religious coping: Development and initial validation of the RCOPE. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56, 519–543. Pargament, K.  I., Mahoney, A., & Shafranske, I.  P. (Eds.). (2013). APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality: An applied psychology of religion and spirituality (Vol. 2). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Piedmont, R. L. (2001). Spiritual transcendence and the scientific study of spirituality. Journal of Rehabilitation, 67, 4–14. Prothero, S. (2010). God is not one: The eight rival religions that run the world. New York, NY: Harper-Collins. Ricci, F., Rokach, L., & Shapira, B. (2015). Recommender systems: Introduction and challenges. In F. Ricci, L. Rokach, & B. Shapira (Eds.), Recommender systems handbook. Boston, MA: Springer. Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (2005). A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of psychotherapy and religious diversity (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Richards, P.  S., Smith, T.  B., Schowalter, M., Richard, M., Berrett, M.  E., & Hardman, R.  K. (2005). Development and validation of the Theistic Spiritual Outcome Survey. Psychotherapy Research, 15(4), 457–469. Robinson, J. P., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (1973). Measures of social psychological attitudes. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research. Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York, NY: The Free Press. Sanders, P. W., Richards, P. S., McBride, J. A., & Allen, G. E. K. (2016). Bridging the research-­ practice gap with a clinically adaptive Internet-based outcome system. Symposium presented at the Society for Psychotherapy Research international conference on June 23, 2016, Jerusalem, Israel.

30

P. S. Richards et al.

Schnell, T. (2015). Dimensions of Secularity (DoS): An open inventory to measure facets of secular identities. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 25(4), 272–292. Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 1–65). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Smart, N. (1993). Religions of Asia. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Smart, N. (1994). Religions of the West. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Socha, P. M. (1999). Ways religious orientations work: A Polish replication of measurement of religious orientations. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 9(3), 209–228. Sperry, L., & Shafranske, E.  P. (2005). Spiritually-oriented psychotherapy: Contemporary approaches. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Spilka, B., & Ladd, K. L. (2013). The psychology of prayer: A scientific approach. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Starbuck, E. D. (1899). The psychology of religion. London, England: Walter Scott. Streib, H. (2001). Faith development theory revisited: The religious styles perspective. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 11, 143–158. Streib, H., Hood, R. W., Jr., & Klein, C. (2010). The religious schema scale: Construction and initial validation of a quantitative measure for religious styles. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 20(1), 151–172. Strommen, M. P. (Ed.). (1971). Research on religious development: A comprehensive handbook. New York, NY: Hawthorn. Strommen, M. P. (1984). Psychology’s blind spot: A religious faith. Counseling and Values, 28, 150–161. Sue, D. W., Bingham, R., Porche-Burke, L., & Vasquez, M. (1999). The diversification of psychology: A multicultural revolution. American Psychologist, 54, 1061–1069. Tacey, D. (2004). The spirituality revolution: The emergence of contemporary spirituality. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge. Tarakeshwar, N., Pargament, K. I., & Mahoney, A. (2003a). Initial development of a measure of religious coping among Hindus. Journal of Community Psychology, 31(6), 607–628. Tarakeshwar, N., Pargament, K.  I., & Mahoney, A. (2003b). Measures of Hindu pathways: Development and preliminary evidence of reliability and validity. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9, 316–332. Taves, A. (2015). Reverse engineering complex cultural concepts: Identifying building blocks of “religion.”. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 15, 191–216. Unterrainer, H. F., Ladenhauf, K. H., Moazedi, M. L., Wallner-Liebmann, S. J., & Fink, A. (2010). Dimensions of religious/spiritual well-being and their relation to personality and psychological wellbeing. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(3), 192–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. paid.2010.03.032 Unterrainer, H.  F., Nelson, O., Collicutt, J., & Fink, A. (2012). The English version of the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-being (MI-RSWB-E): First results from British college students. Religions, 3(3), 588–599. Wolf, M.  G., Ihm, E., Maul, A., & Taves, A. (2021). Survey item validation. In S.  Engler & M. Stausberg (Eds.)., The Routledge handbook of research methods in the study of religion. London, England/New York, NY: Taylor and Francis/Routledge. Zinnbauer, B. J., Pargament, K. I., & Scott, A. B. (1999). The emerging meanings of religiousness and spirituality: Problems and prospects. Journal of Personality, 67(6), 889–999.

Mainstreaming the Assessment of Diverse Religiousness and Spirituality in Psychology

31

P.  Scott Richards,  PhD, received his doctorate in counseling psychology in 1988 from the University of Minnesota. He is coauthor of A Spiritual Strategy for Counseling and Psychotherapy (1997, 2005), coeditor of the Handbook of Psychotherapy and Religious Diversity (2000), and coauthor of Spiritual Approaches in the Treatment of Women with Eating Disorders (2007), all of which were published by the American Psychological Association. He received the William C. Bier award in 1999 from Division 36 (the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association for outstanding contributions to findings on religious issues. He is a fellow of Division 36 and served as President of the Division from 2004 to 2005. Dr. Richards is a licensed psychologist and is the Director of Research at the Center for Change in Orem, Utah. He is retired from Brigham Young University where he was a Professor of Counseling Psychology from 1990 until 2018. Raymond F. Paloutzian,  PhD, Claremont Graduate School, is Professor Emeritus of experimental and social psychology at Westmont College and consultant to the Religion, Experience, and Mind (REM) Lab Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was Visiting Professor at Stanford University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He edited The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion (1998–2016). He wrote Invitation to the Psychology of Religion, third ed. (Guilford, 2017) and edited Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Psychological Pathways to Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (with A.  Kalayjian; Springer, 2010), the Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, second ed. (with C.  L. Park; Guilford, 2013), and Processes of Believing: The Acquisition, Maintenance, and Change in Creditions (with H.-F. Angel, L. Oviedo, A. L. C. Runihov, & R. J. Seitz; Springer, 2017). Peter W. Sanders,  PhD, received his doctorate in Counseling Psychology in 2017 from Brigham Young University. He currently works as a therapist and research director at Utah Valley University Student Health Services. He specializes in data analysis and the integration of technology into psychotherapy. He is currently a project co-director over a large scale psychotherapy research project evaluating the efficacy of spiritually-oriented psychotherapies in diverse contexts.

Part II

Advanced Topics Related to Spiritual Worldviews

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects Dick Houtman and Paul Tromp Abstract  According to the received view in sociology of religion, post-Christian spirituality is radically privatized, individualized, and fragmented, and as such lacks a coherent worldview or ideology. A more specialized literature exposes this notion as a misconception, however, so that it is possible after all to measure post-Christian spirituality by means of a standardized unidimensional scale. This literature conveys seven logically interrelated ideas that are central to the worldview of post-­ Christian spirituality: (1) perennialism (the notion that ‘deep down’ all religions are identical and interchangeable); (2) bricolage (the notion that one needs to feel free to draw on different religions in a way that makes sense personally); (3) immanence of the sacred (the notion that the sacred is present in the cosmos as an impersonal spirit, energy, or life force); (4) aliveness of the cosmos (the notion that the cosmos is not inanimate but alive); (5) holism (the notion that the sacred connects everything within the cosmos); (6) self-spirituality (the notion that the sacred resides within rather than without the self); and (7) experiential epistemology (the notion that experiences and emotions are emanations of the spiritual self that lies within). These seven notions have been operationalized into Likert-type items that together form a reliable and unidimensional Post-Christian Spirituality Scale that can, among other things, be used in health-related research. Keywords  Cultic milieu · Mystical religion · Post-Christian spirituality Religious privatization · Spiritual but not religious · Spiritual turn

D. Houtman (*) · P. Tromp KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 A. L. Ai et al. (eds.), Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52140-0_3

35

36

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

1  The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale While in the past decades ‘spirituality’ has quickly become one of the new buzzwords in the study of religion, it has proven to be notoriously difficult to pin down conceptually and operationally. The main reason is that it manifests itself in a myriad of different ways and social contexts, both within established Christian churches and beyond. Indeed, in his seminal study After Heaven: Spirituality in America since the 1950s, Robert Wuthnow (1998) distinguishes three different manifestations, types, or forms of spirituality. Besides a more traditional “dwelling” spirituality he discusses a more recently emerged, more individualistic “seeking spirituality”, and a “practice” form of spirituality that can be found both within and beyond church communities. This diversity on the ground points out that it is vital to escape crude and “one-size-fits-all” binaries of “religion versus spirituality” and to be clear about the type of spirituality one addresses. In this chapter, we discuss, conceptualize and operationalize one type of spirituality that markedly overlaps with Wuthnow’s “seeking spirituality” and that we call “post-Christian spirituality”. By using this label we do not suggest that it by definitional fiat lacks support in Christian churches and communities—indeed, it is found in liberal Christian circles, too (Campbell, 2007; Houtman, Pons, & Laermans, forthcoming). More than that, to study where exactly this type of spirituality is most and least typically found we first need a scale that accurately measures it. The label “post-Christian spirituality” rather expresses that this type of spirituality sets itself decidedly apart from traditional Christian understandings of religious authority. As we will explain in more detail below, this does not mean that it dismisses God, the Bible or the ideas of Christian preachers out of hand as false and flawed. It rather means that the latter are no longer accepted as authoritative in the sense of being understood as superior to sources of religious authority found in other religions. Indeed, discontents about traditional Christian understandings of religious authority have meanwhile made many in the West suspicious of the notion of “religion” and keen to identify as “spiritual but not religious” (Fuller, 2001). This is why present-day sociologists of religion and religious studies scholars jot down remarkable answers to fairly elementary interview questions. Are you religious?; No, I am not. I am quite interested in spirituality, though. Or: No, I am not religious; I want to follow my personal spiritual path. Or even: No, I am not religious, because (sic) I want to follow my personal spiritual path. Another example of a nowadays often-­ heard and profoundly new response pattern: Do you believe in God?; No, I do not, but I do believe that there is something. Many Westerners apparently no longer understand God as a person and creator who needs to be believed in and obeyed, but rather as a diffuse and vaguely defined “something.” Answers like these puzzle anyone raised with the notion that religion is about church-based belief in a God who has created the world and revealed the truth. Such answers appear to occur more frequently in Western Europe than in North America, arguably due to historically informed differences pertaining to religion and freedom. For while in Europe religion has always had to carry the historical burden of

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects

37

oppression, persecution, and lack of freedom, the first colonists that landed on the Atlantic shores of North America had precisely fled religious strife in Europe to build a new society based on ideals of religious freedom (e.g., Woodhead, 2004, pp.  94–95). There are nonetheless no good reasons to assume that such spiritual understandings of religion have meanwhile become widespread in Western Europe only, while they are virtually non-existent in North America – indeed, Wuthnow’s (1998) work provides compelling counterevidence for the United States, as does recent work by Watts (2018a, 2018b) for Canada. Yet, for the historical reasons just cited, it may well be the case that in North America those who embrace such spiritual understandings of religion are more involved in Christian churches and communities than their Western-European counterparts are. Whether or not this is the case is an important question for future research. Be this all as it may, answers in Western Europe to elementary interview questions like the ones just cited indicate that the traditional language of religion has increasingly given way to one of spirituality, with many today disliking the former and embracing the latter. Spirituality is in effect no longer primarily perceived as the opposite of materiality (as in “spirit and matter”), but also often understood as the opposite of religion (Huss, 2014). So while traditional Christian religion has surely lost much of its former appeal and legitimacy in Western Europe, it has not simply given way to secular non-religiosity, but also to various types of spirituality, not least a post-Christian type that is eager to distinguish itself from Christian religion’s traditional understandings of religious authority. This process of religious change is typically theorized as a general shift from “religion” to “spirituality”, often identifying the latter with New Age and conceiving it as “post-Christian,” “alternative,” or “holistic” (e.g., Heelas & Woodhead, 2005). Even though as indicated above there is certainly more to spirituality than this, we here just address the latter, referring to it as “post-Christian spirituality”.1 This post-Christian spirituality differs profoundly from Christian religion as the West has known it for centuries. It embraces a conception of the sacred as a diffuse spirit or life force that permeates and unifies all of the cosmos and that can only be personally experienced, which causes external sources of religious authority to be rejected as illegitimate. Sociologists of religion have traditionally taken it to be radically fragmented and individualized, suggesting that unlike Christian religion, it lacks a coherent and unifying worldview. If this were indeed the case, it would of course be impossible to study it by means of a standardized scale. We explain below why this notion of a coherent underlying spiritual worldview being absent is flawed, however, and discuss in detail how this informs our Post-Christian Spirituality Scale. This Post-Christian Spirituality Scale is important because it enables a recalibration of religious research to major changes that have occurred on the ground. Most students of religion in the West, particularly Western Europe, agree nowadays that Christian religion has declined significantly since the 1960s, while alongside other 1  It is certainly possible that some of the people who adhere to post-Christian spirituality are of Jewish or Islamic descent. We acknowledge therefore that correct terminology is an ongoing challenge, and that every available term (including our own) has its imperfections.

38

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

manifestations of spirituality post-Christian spirituality has become increasingly widespread in the same period (e.g., Campbell, 2007; Heelas & Woodhead, 2005). The latter has its historical roots in the so-called counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Roszak, 1969), which witnessed a massive increase in interest in post-­ Christian spirituality and oriental religions (Campbell, 2007; McLeod, 2007; Sebald, 1984). The interest of The Beatles in the teachings of the Maharishi Yogi (“The man who gave transcendental meditation to the world”) and their visits to his ashram in Rishikesh, India, constitutes a case in point. Even though post-Christian spirituality has meanwhile lost much of its former socially critical edge, it even today echoes the characteristic countercultural rejection of external authorities and its foregrounding of the inner world as an entry to genuine freedom and liberty. Much like the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s itself, the dissemination of post-Christian spirituality since then is first of all a Western phenomenon, sparked by typically Western cultural discontents about alienating modern orders. Indeed, the turn to post-Christian spirituality signifies a shift from a Western dualistic worldview towards a monistic or holistic Eastern one (i.e., an Easternization of the West; Campbell, 2007). Yet, due to Western modernity’s spread to non-Western countries, post-Christian spirituality has also begun to spread to countries like Japan (Mullins, 1992; Shiroya, 2017), Nigeria (Hackett, 1992), and South Africa (Oosthuizen, 1992). The profound transformation of the religious landscape of the West that has resulted from the spiritual turn since the 1960s calls for a scale for post-Christian spirituality to complement scales for the measurement of other types of spirituality and traditional Christian beliefs. For such a scale is not only vital for mapping the corollaries and consequences of post-Christian spirituality, not least in the realm of health and health care, but also for systematically testing contemporary theories of religious change. For today’s long-standing international survey programs like the European Social Survey (ESS), the European Values Study (EVS), and the World Values Survey (WVS) feature an overly narrow and Christian-informed conception of religion, which biases research findings towards decline of religion rather than religious change. Their questionnaires are in effect more useful for recording the dissolution of the Christian religious formations of the past than for mapping the newly emerging ones. They maneuver much of contemporary religion out of sight, arguably its most rapidly expanding part (Houtman, Heelas, & Achterberg, 2012). The unfortunate absence of a good scale for post-Christian spirituality has forced students of religious change to rely on second-best options. One is comparing the young and the elderly to then interpret any differences found as cohort effects that indicate religious change rather than life cycle effects that have emerged across the life course (Houtman & Mascini, 2002). Another solution—if that is what it is—is to make use of overly crude and unreliable measures that leave much to be desired (Houtman & Aupers, 2007).

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects

39

2  Theoretical Basis 2.1  Religion Beyond Church and Sect The widespread misconception that post-Christian spirituality lacks a coherent worldview stems from the deeply ingrained identification of religion with either church or sect, two categories introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century by the sociologically inclined Protestant theologian Ernst Troeltsch (1992 [1912]). Troeltsch’s church model posits the existence of just one church that envelops all members of a community and understands itself as intimately bound up with the latter. Becoming a church member is hence not a deliberate personal act: one is born into a community and its church and in principle stays a member until one’s final days. This model of religion moreover features a priesthood that has privileged access to the sacred and hence mediates between God and the community of believers. The priesthood organizes communal gatherings, takes care of the appropriate performance of religious rituals, socializes rank-and-file church members and new priests, and is entrusted with administering the sacraments to believers. Due to the priesthood’s privileged access to God, the church model of religion assumes religious hierarchy: the priesthood is understood as more or less sacred in and of itself and hence as less worldly and profane than rank-and-file church members. Empirically speaking, the Roman Catholic Church comes closest to this first model of religion as defined by Troeltsch. It is to this model of religion that the Protestant Reformation revolted by underscoring the authority of God, and God alone. Protestantism is thus characterized by a marked contrast between the world and the church on the one hand and an all-­ powerful God who has revealed the truth on the other, so that the Word of God, as contained in the Holy Bible, constitutes the only valid source of religious authority (Troeltsch, 1992 [1912]. Protestants in effect cannot rely on church authority in telling them how to live but have the Bible as their only guideline. Here, religion is hence not about being a loyal member of a church and a community but about obeying God—being a pious believer according to His commandments rather than those of the church. The sect model in effect features a critical rejection of the social environment in which the sect finds itself, because, measured against God’s strict commandments, the world as it is inevitably falls short. While modern students of religion have favorably received and widely adopted Troeltsch’s church and sect types of religion, understanding the two first and foremost as types of religious organization, his third cult type of religion has traditionally been neglected. This accounts for the many misapplications of the sect category back in the 1960s and 1970s, when the latter was frequently used to refer to newly emerged non-Christian cults (Campbell, 2002 [1972]; Streib & Hood, 2011). In Troeltsch’s understanding, cults differ profoundly from both churches and sects, however, because unlike these they are are fleeting phenomena: they are typically short-lived, have no clear organization, typically form an egalitarian group or social network, lack clear hierarchy and leadership, lack strict religious doctrines, and

40

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

know no strong boundaries between insiders (members) and outsiders (non-members). Campbell 2002 [1972] points out how this very fleetingness makes the study of just one single spiritual group or practice in isolation of others quite meaningless. What needs to be studied instead, he maintains, is the wider milieu of religious heterodoxy in which cults find their home, which he refers to as the cultic milieu: Cults must exist within a milieu which, if not conducive to the maintenance of individual cults, is clearly highly conducive to the spawning of cults in general. Such a generally supportive cultic milieu is continually giving birth to new cults, absorbing the debris of the dead ones and creating new generations of cult-prone individuals. (Campbell, 2002 [1972], pp. 121–122)

In this understanding, cults relate to the cultic milieu like icebergs to glaciers; while the former are inevitably fleeting and will eventually melt away altogether, the latter are persistent and periodically spawn new icebergs.

2.2  Post-Christian Spirituality as Mystical Religion Troeltsch identifies cults with a variety of mystical religion that has completely broken away from, and boasts disdain for, the institutional and doctrinal features of religion (see also Daiber, 2002), just like the post-Christian groups in today’s spiritual milieu do (Campbell, 1978). Indeed, observers of post-Christian spirituality have pointed out how the latter reject “voices of authority associated with established orders… even rejecting ‘beliefs’” (Heelas, 1996, p.  22), to the effect that “prescriptions of others, of tradition, of experts, of religious texts, and all such external sources are not considered legitimate” (Adams & Haaken, cited in Heelas, 1996, p. 22). As a mysticism that has broken away from religious institutions and doctrines, post-Christian spirituality entails “a religious principle in its own right divorced from a containing frame-work of dogma, ritual or ecclesiasticism” (Campbell, 1978, p. 149), indeed “a distinct religion in its own right with a distinct system of beliefs” (Campbell, 1978, p. 147), which understands itself as “the true inner principle of all religious faith,” as Streib & Hood (2011, p. 448) put it. Post-Christian spirituality hence constitutes a religion stripped of its institutional and doctrinal aspects: a promise of and a quest for pure religion and real sacrality that posits a spiritual realm that can neither be captured in human-made institutions nor reduced to religious doctrines and dogmas. Conceiving of pre-given religious (and non-religious) orders and doctrines as hidebound, short-witted, and suffocating, it rejects church religion as authoritarian and as demanding blind obedience and conformity, and it dismisses sect religion’s doctrinal tendencies as a dogmatic and narrow-minded escape from reality. Boasting ideals of breaking free from such constraints, post-Christian spirituality does hence not incite its adherents to ascetically define themselves as active tools in the hands of God (subordination to God and engaging in a life devoted to the active pursuit of His demands), but rather to

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects

41

mystically think of themselves as passive vessels of the divine that need to open themselves up to the sacred to ultimately become one with it: “the creature must be silent so that God may speak” (Weber, 1963 [1922], p. 326). The point, in short, is that post-Christian spirituality cannot be defined in terms of membership, loyalty, or affinity with a particular spiritual group or practice, but only in terms of a lasting commitment to the spiritual or cultic milieu as a whole and to the spiritual worldview that underlies the latter and provides it with ideological unity. This is precisely where the intellectual significance of the quantitative study of post-Christian spirituality lies: it enables students of spirituality to move beyond the idiosyncrasies of particular spiritual groups and practices and study affinity with the underlying spiritual worldview that the various groups and practices have in common.

3  Literature Review 3.1  A Spiritual Turn in the West? The intellectual significance of the quantitative study of post-Christian spirituality has increased sharply in the wake of the crisis of secularization theory since the 1980s. Before that decade, the latter constituted sociology of religion’s theoretical flagship, predicting a decline of the social significance of religion, which basically meant Christian religion back then. A cluster of loosely connected theories rather than a coherent and monolithic theory in and of itself, secularization theory among other things predicts increasing numbers of people to become less and less religious (e.g., Bruce, 2002; Casanova, 1994; Dobbelaere, 2002; Tschannen, 1991; Wallis & Bruce, 1992). From the 1980s onwards, this thesis of religious decline has become increasingly challenged by the claim that since the 1960s, religion has not so much declined but rather transformed profoundly. Contemporary students of religion have observed that “religious life… is not so much disappearing as mutating” (Davie, 1994, p. 198), entailing a “turn away from worlds in which people think of themselves first and foremost as belonging to established and ‘given’ orders of things which are transmitted from the past” (Heelas & Woodhead, 2005, p. 3). Others even go so far as to observe “a fundamental revolution in Western civilization, one that can be compared in significance to the Renaissance, the Reformation, or the Enlightenment” (Campbell, 2007, p. 41). In her book Religion in Britain since 1945, probably better known by its subtitle, Believing without Belonging, Davie (1994) asserts that what we have been witnessing in Western Europe since the 1960s is not so much a decline in religion, but rather a decline in church affiliation. The result is widespread “unattached religion” (Davie, 1994, p. 199) and hence a “mismatch between… religious practice and… levels of religious belief” (p. 4). The implication is that standard accounts of secularization as a decline in religion are “getting harder and harder to sustain” (p. 7),

42

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

because it is in fact “more accurate to describe late-twentieth-century Britain… as unchurched rather than simply secular” (p. 7). In keeping with its subtitle, Davie’s book has typically been interpreted as offering a theory of the de-institutionalization of Christianity, according to which people do not cease to hold Christian beliefs, but increasingly do so without affiliating with churches (e.g., Voas & Crockett, 2005). Her book, however, also hints at an alternative theory that is basically identical to Heelas and Woodhead’s (2005) and Campbell’s (2007) accounts of a turn towards post-Christian spirituality in the West. For writing about believing and belonging, Davie points out how in Britain, religious “feelings, experience and the more numinous aspects of religious belief demonstrate considerable persistence,” whereas “religious orthodoxy, ritual participation and institutional attachment display an undeniable degree of secularization” (Davie, 1994, pp. 4–5). This is in effect a theory about a turn towards post-Christian spirituality (Campbell, 2007; Heelas & Woodhead, 2005), so a theory about de-­ Christianization rather than de-institutionalization of Christianity. It is not a theory about people leaving the church, while sticking to their Christian beliefs, but about people turning away from Christian religion towards post-Christian spirituality with its characteristic rejection of religious institutions, religious doctrines, and religious beliefs alongside its equally characteristic foregrounding of personal spiritual experience.

3.2  P  ost-Christian Spirituality as Fragmented and Individualized Privatized Religion? One of the major shortcomings of studies of post-Christian spirituality in sociology of religion is its incessant portrayal as radically individualized and privatized. This interpretation can also be traced to the traditional neglect of Troeltsch’s cult category, because he defines the latter precisely by the absence of the institutional bulwark of the church and the absence of the firm religious doctrines of the sect (see Woodhead, 2010, for a critical discussion). The typical reference in justifying this interpretation is Thomas Luckmann’s The Invisible Religion (1967), one of the most influential books in postwar sociology of religion. In his book, Luckmann identifies the one-sided focus on churches, church attendance, and allegiance to official church doctrines as the major shortcoming of post-classical sociology of religion. For in his understanding, the decline of the Christian churches does not simply mean the end of religion, but rather the emergence of a market of ultimate significance, with religious consumers shopping for strictly personal packages of meaning, based on individual tastes and preferences. Many studies of post-Christian spirituality echo this account of post-Christian spirituality as merely reflecting individual choices that differ from one person to the next, made on a pluralistic market of ultimate significance. The late Bryan Wilson’s work about secularization, equally prominent in the sociology of religion, for instance, similarly characterizes

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects

43

post-­Christian cults as representing, “in the American phrase, ‘the religion of your choice,’ the highly privatized preference that reduces religion to the significance of pushpin, poetry, or popcorns” (1976, p. 96). Post-Christian spirituality, in short, has again and again been portrayed as strikingly different from Christian religion: as strictly personal, ephemeral, uncommitted, shallow, and superficial, as a radically privatized do-it-yourself-religion (Baerveldt, 1996) or pick-and-mix religion (Hamilton, 2000), as religious consumption à la carte (Possamai, 2003), as a spiritual supermarket (Lyon, 2000), and as in effect more fuzzy, less culturally coherent, and less religiously real than good-old Christianity (see for a critique Woodhead, 2010). Indeed, even granting notable exceptions like Wuthnow (1998), Besecke (2005) does not exaggerate much when she concludes that “Luckmann’s characterization of contemporary religion as privatized is pivotal in the sociology of religion; it has been picked up by just about everyone and challenged by almost no one” (p. 186). She is, however, also correct in pointing out Luckmann’s debatable conceptualization of the private. In his hands, the latter becomes “really a catch-all word for everything that falls outside of… primary [economic or political] social institutions… or… specialized religious institutions” (Besecke, 2005, p. 186). As much as Luckmann’s book is to be praised for widening the scope of modern sociology of religion beyond the study of firmly institutionalized Christian religion, it as such also needs to be critiqued for forcing religion onto the Procrustean bed of a distinction between the institutional and the private realm. This neglects sociology’s traditional third option, i.e., the cultural realm as exemplified by Emile Durkheim’s 1995 [1912] classical account of religion as a discourse informed by distinctions between the sacred and the profane (Alexander & Smith, 2005). Such a cultural-­sociological approach raises the question of whether post-Christian spirituality is really as privatized and individualized as the theory of religious privatization takes it to be. The short answer is no, and the most straightforward way to elaborate it is to start with what is typically invoked as proof for its privatized and individualized character: its radical pluralism in at least two respects. On the one hand, there is the sheer diversity and fragmentation of the spiritual or cultic milieu, which consists of a colorful collection of variegated groups and practices, ranging “from aromatherapy to Buddhism, circle dancing to the Alexander Technique, naturopathy to reiki” (Heelas & Woodhead, 2005, p. 24). On the other hand, there are the characteristic individual practices of spiritual seeking and bricolage, or the notion that one needs to feel free to draw on different religions in a way that makes sense personally. In spiritual seeking and bricolage, those involved do not identify with just one particular group, practice, or idea, but rather combine a whole range of them, more often than not with rapidly fleeting interests and preferences. This does not, however, justify the claim that post-Christian spirituality lacks a coherent, unifying, and underlying worldview. More than that, not only does post-Christian spirituality boast such a worldview, but the latter even more so accounts for the omnipresence of bricolage and spiritual seeking in these circles, as we will explain below. This worldview epitomizes precisely the coherence that has so often been denied.

44

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

3.3  The Post-Christian Spirituality Worldview The worldview of PCSS consists of seven notions that are logically interrelated and, in effect, assume, validate, and legitimate each other: 1. Perennialism: the notion that deep down, all religions are identical and interchangeable; 2. Bricolage: the notion that one needs to feel free to draw on different religions in a way that makes sense personally 3. Diffuseness and immanence of the sacred: the notion that the sacred is present in the cosmos as an impersonal spirit, energy, or life force; 4. Aliveness of the cosmos: the notion that the cosmos is not inanimate but alive; 5. Holism: the notion that the sacred connects everything within the cosmos; 6. Self-spirituality: the notion that the sacred resides within rather than without the self; 7. Experiential epistemology: the notion that experiences and emotions are emanations of the spiritual self within. Perennialism  Central to the worldview of post-Christian spirituality is a profound relativizing of the doctrinal and institutional idiosyncrasies of religious traditions. These particularities are understood as inevitably human-made and invented, as distracting from what religion is (or rather: should) really be about: engaging in a personal contact with the sacred (Roeland, Aupers, Houtman, De Koning, & Noomen, 2010). Articulating ideals of pure religion and real sacrality, the spiritual worldview thus posits the primacy of a realm that can neither be captured in human-­ made institutions nor be reduced to religious doctrines. Post-Christian spirituality does as such not unequivocally reject religious traditions, but rather understands them as placing too much emphasis on ritual conformity and institutional and doctrinal side issues. Religious traditions are hence understood as referring deep down to one single identical and universal spiritual source, even though in some instances the latter has been buried more deeply away than in others. Good examples of the former would be Orthodox strains of Protestantism or Islam with their marked emphasis on literal belief in the Bible or the Qu’ran as God’s revealed Word. Good examples of the latter are Eastern religions like Hinduism or Buddhism, which provide more opportunities for personal spiritual experience (think of meditational practices). Religious traditions are, in effect, not only understood as basically, deep down referring to the same spiritual source, but also as more flawed and misleading to the extent that they define themselves as different from, conflicting with, and superior to others. This notion that what religious traditions have in common is more important than what sets them apart is known as “polymorphism” (Campbell, 1978, p.  149) or more typically perennialism. Philosophia perennis or perennial philosophy teaches that all religious traditions are equally valid because they ultimately all worship the same divine source (i.e., the idea that there are many paths, but there is just one truth). As one of the spiritual trainers quoted by Aupers and Houtman (2006) put it:

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects

45

I feel connected with the person of Jesus Christ, not with Catholicism. But I also feel touched by the person of Buddha. I am also very much interested in shamanism. So my belief has nothing to do with a particular religious tradition. For me, all religions are manifestations of god, of the divine. If you look beyond the surface, then all religions tell the same story. (Aupers & Houtman, 2006, p. 203)

Bricolage  What many sociologists of religion have missed is how this perennialism incites bricolage, or the notion that one needs to feel free to draw on different religions in a way that makes sense personally. These very practices of bricolage have as such often been misinterpreted as proving the non-existence of a unifying spiritual worldview. For if all religions are understood as deep down identical and interchangeable, one should, logically speaking, feel free to draw on different religions in a way that makes sense personally. Indeed, what matters then is precisely to prevent oneself from getting stuck to just one single religious tradition and starting to believe that it is superior to all others, because this would fly in the face of the doctrine of perennialism as discussed above. Diffuseness and Immanence of the Sacred  The single identical and universal spiritual source that all religious traditions are basically held to refer to is here not the God of the monotheistic, Abrahamic religions of The Book (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The latter conceive of the sacred as a person-like entity who has created the world and as such precedes the latter rather than being part of it. Needless to say, this traditional Western ontology of the sacred is more strongly present in some traditions than in others. As indicated above, it is especially prominent in orthodox strains of Judaism, Protestantism, and Islam, which conceive of God as radically transcendent so as to espouse a sharp dualism between God and the world. This is why religious traditions like these are seen as least attractive in the spiritual milieu. Jewish Kabbalah, Christian mysticism (e.g., Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Francis of Assisi), and Sufism in Islam can count on much more sympathy, precisely because of their refusal to conceive of the sacred as radically divorced from the world. This applies even more to Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, which foreground the diffuseness and immanence of the sacred even more. By means of an alternative ontology of the sacred, the spiritual worldview distinguishes itself from these monotheistic traditions of the West, especially from their more orthodox and dualistic renditions. The sacred is here not conceived as a person-­like transcendent God who has created the world, but rather as a diffuse impersonal spirit, life force or energy that is—and always has been—present in the world and the cosmos rather than residing in a separate realm of its own. Holism  This conception of the sacred as an immanent and diffuse spirit, life force or source of energy implies that the latter connects and unifies everything. Even though the world’s apparent dualisms and fragmentations (e.g., between body and mind, self and society) may suggest otherwise, the worldview of post-Christian spirituality hence holds that invisible unity exists at a deeper level because the omnipresent spirit or life force connects everything. Due to this, the spiritual worldview differs profoundly from the radically dualistic and disenchanted Protestantism that according to Max Weber 1978 [1904–1905] paved the way for modernity from

46

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

the sixteenth century onwards (see also Berger, 1967). Making the divine more radically transcendent than it had ever been before, this orthodox Protestantism purged the world of the sacred and transformed it into a soulless thing without any room left for magic or mystery. Aliveness of the Cosmos  The understanding of the sacred as an omnipresent spirit or life force not only underlies the notion that everything is connected but also robs the world of its status as a mere soulless and inanimate entity. In marked contrast to radically dualistic religious traditions like orthodox Protestantism (e.g., Calvinism) or Orthodox Islam (e.g., Salafism), the holism that post-Christian spirituality boasts also incites an understanding of the cosmos as being alive and in effect in a continuous state of change and evolution. Self-spirituality  The holistic notion that everything is connected also applies to the self and the sacred, because human beings are basically understood as knots in a field of spiritual energy. The sacred is in other words conceived as permeating the deeper layers of one’s own consciousness, too, so that unlike the transcendent God of Christianity, it resides within rather than without. Writing about New Age, Paul Heelas (1996) refers to this innerness of the sacred as self-spirituality, which is the notion that due to its omnipresence the sacred can also be found within as a sort of natural or spiritual self that lies hidden underneath the mundane or conventional self: the “most pervasive and significant aspect of the lingua franca of the New Age is that the person is, in essence, spiritual” (Heelas, 1996, p. 19). In the deepest layers of one’s own consciousness, the divine spark—to borrow a term from ancient Gnosticism—is hence held to be smoldering, waiting to be reconnected with and to succeed the socialized self: “The inner realm, and the inner realm alone, is held to serve as the source of authentic vitality, creativity, love, tranquility, wisdom, power, authority and all those other qualities which are held to comprise the perfect life” (Heelas, 1996, p. 19). This is what the spiritual path to salvation in post-Christian spirituality—its soteriology, if one prefers the technical term—is all about: liberating oneself from the entrapments of the false self that is basically nothing more than what society wants one to be, but that should not be mistaken for who one really or at deepest is, who one is by nature: “The great refrain, running throughout the New Age, is that we malfunction because we have been indoctrinated… by mainstream society and culture” (Heelas, 1996, p. 19). Following the spiritual path to salvation hence requires relativizing the authoritative status of external sources of authority, like holy texts, religious elites, and even scientific experts. In deciding what to do and what to abstain from, one is rather encouraged to listen to one’s inner voice: one’s personal feelings, intuitions, and emotions, understood here as emanations of a spiritual self that needs to be taken seriously because it defines who one really is. Experiential Epistemology  Finally, post-Christian spirituality’s characteristic ontology of the sacred hence also informs its equally characteristic epistemology of personal experience. What is true and what is not is here not a matter of belief, but rather results from a sort of inner knowing, often referred to as gnosis: “According to [gnosis,] truth can only be found by personal, inner revelation, insight or ‘enlight-

The Post-Christian Spirituality Scale (PCSS): Misconceptions, Obstacles, Prospects

47

enment.’ Truth can only be personally experienced” (Hanegraaff, 1996, p.  519). Needless to say, this marked emphasis on the significance of personal feelings and intuitions in the pursuit of spiritual truth also incites the very practices of bricolage that have so often been misinterpreted as proving the non-existence of a unifying spiritual worldview.

3.4  A Coherent Spiritual Worldview To summarize the foregoing, the point is not that post-Christian spirituality is not individualistic, but rather that it embodies an individualism that is collectively embraced by those concerned. With some exaggeration, one might say that its characteristic individualism constitutes a sort of dogma of non-conformity that is uncontested in these circles, so that it entails a collectively shared and coherent spiritual worldview that incites those concerned to take their personal feelings seriously and to embark on strictly personal spiritual quests. While this surely encourages practices of bricolage and results in the characteristic diversity and fragmentation of the spiritual milieu, these features do hence not at all prove the absence of a coherent spiritual worldview. In a fashion that is as interesting as it is paradoxical, it is rather the other way around: it is a coherent spiritual worldview that incites, provokes, brings forth, and hence ultimately accounts for bricolage, diversity, and fragmentation. As Aupers and Houtman (2006) have put it, “the diversity of the spiritual milieu results from rather than contradicts the existence of a coherent doctrine of being and well-being” (p. 206; emphasis in original).

4  Method Our scale for the measurement of post-Christian spirituality consists of seven Likert-type items that capture the seven notions discussed above (see Appendix A). Some items were not entirely new but resemble items in previous studies. For example, the item measuring the diffuseness and immanence of the sacred can be found in a slightly altered form in the WVS, in the EVS, in the Religious and Moral Pluralism (RAMP) survey, and in CentERdata’s ‘Who Designs the Best Telepanel Study’ of 1997. The RAMP survey also contains, in a slightly modified form, the item measuring self-spirituality (see Heelas & Houtman, 2009; Houtman et  al., 2012), and CentERdata’s ‘Who Designs the Best Telepanel Study’ of 1997 also includes the item measuring perennialism (see Houtman & Mascini, 2002). Our Post-Christian Spirituality Scale was included in a large online survey conducted in the Netherlands in the fall of 2008 by CentERdata, a Dutch institute for data collection and research based at Tilburg University. CentERdata maintains a panel of respondents that is representative for the Dutch population aged sixteen years and older. Of the 2423 panel members who were invited to participate, 87.5%

48

D. Houtman and P. Tromp

actually did so (n = 2121), with 85.9% (n = 2081) completing the online questionnaire as a whole. The sample consisted of 1135 males (53.5%) and 986 females (46.5%) with an average age of 51 years (SD = 16.13), a mean monthly net household income of € 2733 (SD = 3852), and an average educational level that lies in between “higher general continued education/preparatory scholarly education” and “middle-level applied education” (M = 3.63, SD = 1.53). (The response options for educational level were 1 = basisonderwijs (i.e., elementary school); 2 = VMBO (i.e., preparatory middle-level applied education); 3 = HAVO/VWO (i.e., higher general continued education/preparatory scholarly education); 4 = MBO (i.e., middle-­level applied education); 5 = HBO (i.e., higher professional education); and 6 = WO (i.e., scientific education).) More than four out of ten respondents (n = 895, 42.2%) considered themselves religious, more than half of the sample did not (n  =  1080, 50.9%), and a small minority did not know (n = 113, 5.3%). A quarter of the sample considered itself spiritual (n = 530, 25%), nearly two-thirds of respondents did not (n = 1375, 64.8%), and again a minority did not know (n = 183, 8.6%). Cross tabulating the latter two variables shows that most people considered themselves ‘neither religious nor spiritual’ (n  =  868, 41.6%), almost a quarter of the sample self-identified as ‘religious but not spiritual’ (n = 461, 22.1%), around every sixth participant regarded oneself ‘religious and spiritual’ (n = 337, 16.1%), and nearly one out of ten respondents considered themselves ‘spiritual but not religious’ (n = 169, 8.1%). The majority of the sample did not identify with a religious denomination (n  =  1023, 48.2%), just over a quarter considered themselves Catholic (n = 535, 25.2%), slightly more than a fifth Protestant (n = 438, 20.6%), and a small minority (n = 92, 4.3%) selected Other. The seven items, all with a five-point Likert-­ type scale, were not asked successively in the questionnaire but were scattered across a larger battery of statements on religious and spiritual matters. The response categories ranged from (1) agree strongly through (5) disagree strongly, with a category (3) neither agree, nor disagree in the middle, plus a separate don’t know category.

5  Results and Psychometric Properties 5.1  The Instrument Structure To evaluate the construct validity of the Post-Christian Spirituality Scale, the seven items were factor-analyzed with SPSS 22.0 using principal components analysis without any rotation. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy was 0.84, which is well above the suggested minimum of 0.60, indicating that the items are measuring a common factor. Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity was significant (χ2(21) = 3092.356, p