Relational Spirituality Conference

Relational Spirituality Conference

  • Web Cast RELATIONAL SPIRITUALITY: ADVANCING 21st CENTURY SCIENCE ON FAITH IN DIVERSE FAMILIES On March 12, 2013, a conference on Relational Spirituality was held at BGSU. 
  • Co-sponsored by the CFDR, Templeton Foundation, the BGSU Spirituality and Psychology Team (SPiRiT) and Department of Psychology
  • Guest panelists:

    Dr. Chris Boyatzis, Department of Psychology, Bucknell University - moderator

    Dr. Annette Mahoney and Dr. Kenneth Pargament, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University - presenters

    Dr. Frank Fincham, FSU Family Institute, Florida State University - presenter

    Dr. Melinda Denton, Department of Sociology, Clemson University - presenter

  • Overview of Conference 
    • Over the past 25 years, a substantial body of research has accumulated on the significant implications of spirituality and religion for health and well-being.  The lion’s share of this research has focused on spirituality at the individual level of analysis – how individuals experience and express their spirituality, and how spirituality affects individual health and well-being.  Yet, according to most definitions, spirituality is first and foremost about connectedness with whatever the individual may hold sacred, be it God, romantic relationships, marriage, family, friends, or community.  In recent years, social scientists have begun to examine how relational spirituality can help or harm our social lives. Relational spirituality refers to when spirituality is involved, for better and worse, in the formation, maintenance and transformation of relationships. Relational spirituality offers a conceptual lens to identify and foster cutting-edge scientific research on specific spiritual beliefs and behaviors about a wide range of family experiences.
    • The conference brought together researchers who shared innovative findings and thoughts on Relational Spirituality. Although research in this area is in its early stages of development, strong ties between relational spirituality and the quality of family relationships in married, cohabiting, and divorced families are being established. These findings illustrate that rigorous scientific research can encompass those who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” as well as “spiritual and religious.” This symposium provided insights into this emerging field of study.