Title

The Interconnections Between Religious Fundamentalism, Spirituality and the Four Dimensions of Empathy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Publication Source

Review of Religious Research

Volume

51

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

201-219

ISBN/ISSN

0034673X

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

The interconnection between religious fundamentalist beliefs, spirituality and empathy remains relatively unexplored at this time. As such, the purpose of this project is to establish whether or not the four different aspects of empathy (empathic concern, personal distress, perspective-taking and fantasy abilities) are related to religious fundamentalism and a sense of spirituality, controlling for religiosity, religious affiliation and other sociodemographic controls. Results suggest that fundamentalist beliefs will lead to lower amounts of empathic concern, perspective-taking and fantasy abilities, whereas a sense of spirituality will contribute to higher levels of the same three aspects of empathy. Personal distress was found to be unrelated to either fundamentalism or spirituality.

Keywords

Empathy, Religiosity, Religious Fundamentalism, Spirituality, Religious Orientation

Disciplines

Sociology

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