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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54793
Doc. No:TL24747
Call number:‭3328955‬
Main Entry:Jenny L. Small
Title & Author:College student religious affiliation and spiritual identity: A qualitative studyJenny L. Small
College:University of Michigan
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:385
Abstract:There currently exists a large gap in the literature on Faith Development Theory and college student spiritual development, which has almost entirely been posited from a Christian perspective and using Christian research participants. Given this gap, I have reconstructed a conceptual framework, which removes the Christian content predominant in Faith Development Theory, as conceived of by James Fowler and Sharon Daloz Parks, and instead makes use of the language of “mainstream” and “marginalized” religions. I utilized both developmental research and theological literature pieces to determine the spiritual paths, beliefs and values of each of the religious groups in question: Protestant Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. Based on this conceptual framework, I gathered data from Protestant Christian, Jewish, Muslim and atheist college students through focus group sessions, written questionnaires, and interviews to determine how they talk about their spiritual identities, and how those spiritual identities are impacted by their religious affiliations. Discourse analysis and qualitative coding techniques were utilized to develop an understanding of the interplay between religious affiliation and spiritual identity. The major finding of the study was that the faith trajectory is the change over time in the religious (on nonreligious) individual's way of framing the world through faith. This implies both a specific, unique worldview for each group, the way of framing the world, as well as something they all share in common, faith. Based on this understanding, I propose a separation of structural faith development from the newly specified Faith and Religious Marginalization Awareness Frame. The latter combines a faith frame unique to each religious or non-religious group with the growing awareness during the lifespan of the impact of Christian privilege and religious marginalization in society. There are multiple implications of this study. Higher education researchers should no longer employ developmental theories that overlook the divergent faith frames of non-Christians. Campus professionals should endeavor to include religious minorities, particularly atheists, in interfaith dialogues, as well as challenge the existence of Christian privilege. Practitioners can also employ the understanding that positive, encouraging interactions with religiously diverse others foster growth in students' spiritual identities.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Education; College students; Higher education; Religion; Religious diversity; Spiritual identity; Spirituality; 0745:Higher education; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:E. P. S. John
Added Entry:University of Michigan