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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

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University of Kentucky

Religion

Selected Works

Discipline
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Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Implicit Religion And The Curvilinear Relationship Between Religion And Death Anxiety, James Donovan Jan 2002

Implicit Religion And The Curvilinear Relationship Between Religion And Death Anxiety, James Donovan

James M. Donovan

Debate over the relationship of religion to death anxiety has included the opposing views of Malinowski, who held that religion lessened death anxiety, and Radcliffe-Brown, who argued that religion increased death anxiety. Homans' theoretical synthesis of these viewpoints was tested by Leming, who concluded that the empirical relationship was curvilinear, meaning that both high and low religious involvements resulted in low death anxiety while middle-range attachments did not.

Reconsideration of this result argues that the presence of death anxiety is not dependent upon social learning, and that either high or low levels of theism leads to the resolution of anxiety ...


Blaming It On God: Considerations When Presented With Supernatural Explanatory Entities, James Donovan Aug 1990

Blaming It On God: Considerations When Presented With Supernatural Explanatory Entities, James Donovan

James M. Donovan

If the presence of an anthropologist at a fieldsite indicates that there exist unknowns, then for that anthropologist off-handedly to dismiss informant responses as irrelevant, inadequate, or otherwise poor explanations for observed phenomena is an intellectually arrogant, if not dangerous act.

What then does the anthropologist do with statements that "god willed it" and "the spirits did it"? To dismiss them without good reasons is to be guilty of intellectual condescension; but what constitutes a "good reason," either to reject or to accept such testimony? This essay seeks to consider just such "good reasons," to see if they are as ...