Religious and spiritual development

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Religious and spiritual development

  1. 1. ENCYCLOPEDIA OFRELIGIOUS ANDSPIRITUALDEVELOPMENT
  2. 2. ENCYCLOPEDIA OFRELIGIOUS ANDSPIRITUALDEVELOPMENT EditorsElizabeth M. Dowling ImagineNations Group W. George Scarlett Tufts University
  3. 3. Copyright © 2006 by Sage Publications, Inc.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrievalsystem, without permission in writing from the publisher.For information: Sage Publications, Inc. 2455 Teller Road Thousand Oaks, California 91320 E-mail: order@sagepub.com Sage Publications Ltd. 1 Oliver’s Yard 55 City Road London EC1Y 1SP United Kingdom Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd. B-42, Panchsheel Enclave Post Box 4109 New Delhi 110 017 IndiaPrinted in the United States of America on acid-free paperLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication dataEncyclopedia of religious and spiritual development / editors, Elizabeth M. Dowling, W. GeorgeScarlett. p. cm. — (Sage program on applied developmental science)“A SAGE reference publication.”Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-7619-2883-9 (hardcover) 1. Youth—Religious life—Encyclopedias. 2. Faith development—Encyclopedias.3. Youth psychology—Encyclopedias. I. Dowling, Elizabeth Meredith.II. Scarlett, W. George. III. Title. IV. Series.BV4571.3.E53 2005200′.83′03—dc22 200501270406 07 08 09 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1Acquiring Editor: Jim Brace-ThompsonEditorial Assistant: Karen EhrmannTypesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.Indexer: Teri GreenbergCover Designer: Janet Foulger
  4. 4. Contents Advisory Board vi List of Entries vii Reader’s Guide xiAbout the Editors xv Contributors xviiAcknowledgments xxi Introduction xxiii Entries A–Z 1–498 Index 499–528
  5. 5. Advisory Board Peter L. Benson, Ph.D. Search Institute Chris J. Boyatzis, Ph.D. Bucknell University The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings Pamela Ebstyne King, Ph.D. Fuller Theological Seminary Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D. Tufts University Scotty McLennan, Ph.D. Stanford University Edward C. Oberholtzer Tufts University K. Helmut Reich, Ph.D. Freiburg University Laurie Sabol Tufts University Arthur J. Schwartz, Ed.D. John Templeton Foundation David M. Wulff, Ph.D. Wheaton College vi
  6. 6. List of EntriesAboriginal Spirituality, Australian Buddhist ScripturesAdversity, Overcoming Bunyan, JohnAlchemy CatholicismAltars Child and Youth CareAngelou, Maya Childhood ExperiencesAngels Child’s GodApocalypse ChristianityApocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books Christianity, OrthodoxAquinas, Thomas Christian SpiritualityArt, Islamic ChurchesArt, Visual Coles, RobertAsceticism Communities, Intentional SpiritualAssets, Developmental Confessions of St. AugustineAstrology ConfucianismAttachment Formation CongregationsAttitudinal Dimension of Religion ConversionAutism Coping in YouthAwe and Wonder Crashaw, Richard CrisisBaptism Crop CirclesBaptists Cult FiguresBaptist Youth, Religious Development in CultsBartlett, PhoebeBelief and Affiliation, Contextual Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) Impacts on DanceBenson, Peter L. Daoism (Taoism)Bhagavad Gita Day, DorothyBible Dead Sea ScrollsBible, Christian DelphiBible, Jewish DevilBiological and Cultural Perspectives Dewey, JohnBody DhammapadaBody Image and Eating Dialogue, Interreligious Disorders, Women’s Differences Between Religion and Spirituality inBonhoeffer, Dietrich Children and AdolescentsBook of Mormon DiscernmentBuber, Martin Donne, JohnBuddha DoubtBuddhism DramaBuddhism, Socially Engaged Drug and Alcohol Abuse vii
  7. 7. viii———Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual DevelopmentEcology Jesuit Volunteer CorpsEducation, History of Christian JesusEducational Organizations in World Religions John the BaptistElkind, David Judaism, ConservativeEnd of Life, Life-Span Approach Judaism, OrthodoxEnoch, Book of Judaism, ReconstructionistEnvironmental Ethics Judaism, ReformEpiscopal Church Jung, Carl and Post-JungiansErikson, Erik H. Karma, Law ofEschatology King, Martin Luther Jr.Eucharist Kingdom of GodEvangelism Kohlberg, LawrenceEvil KrishnaFaith L’Engle, MadeleineFaith-Based Service Organizations Language of SpiritualityFaith Maturity Lewis, C. S.Fasting Lincoln, AbrahamForgiveness Literature, Children’sFowler, James Literature, Moral Development inFox, George Lord’s Prayer, TheFreud, Anna Luther, MartinFreud, SigmundFundamentalism Magic MaryGaia Hypothesis Mead, George HerbertGandhi, Mohandas K. MeccaGnostic Gospels MedicineGod MeditationGod, Hindu Views of Meher BabaGospel Music MeherabadGrace Mexican American Religion and Spirituality MindfulnessHappiness MonasticismHealing the Children of War MormonismHealth MosesHealth and Medicine MosqueHeaven Mother TeresaHell MuhammadHerbert, George Muir, JohnHeschel, Abraham Joshua MusicHinduism MysticismHinduism: Supreme Being, the Hindu Trinity Mysticism, JewishHuman Rights MythIntervarsity NarrativeIslam Native American Indian SpiritualityIslam, Five Pillars of Native American Spirituality, Practices ofIslam, Founding Fathers of NaturalismIslamic Sects: Sunni and Shi’a Nature, the Sacred in Neo-PaganismJainism Niebuhr, ReinholdJames, William Noddings, Nel
  8. 8. List of Entries———ixObject-Relations Theory Siqueiros, David AlfaroObjectivism Sistine ChapelOriginal Sin SoulOrthodox Christian Youth in Western Societies Speech, EthicalOser, Fritz K. Spiritual Development of Children and Youth:Outcomes, Adolescent Biblical Descriptions Spirituality, Contemporary Approaches to DefiningParental Influence on Adolescent Religiosity Spirituals, African AmericanPeer and Friend Influences on Adolescent St. Bonaventure Faith Development St. Ignatius of LoyolaPluralism St. Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises ofPluralism, Hindu Approach Stage-Structural Approach to ReligiousPolitics and Religion in the American Presidency DevelopmentPope, the Stein, EdithPositive Youth Development StonehengePrayer Suicide and Native American SpiritualityPrayer in Psychological PerspectivesPresbyterian TarotProphets of the Hebrew Bible Teen ChallengePsychoanalytic Approaches Templeton, Sir JohnPsychological Correlates of Religion Theodicy: God and EvilPsychological Evil Theologian, Adolescent asPsychological Type and Religion Thich Nhat HanhPsychopathology, Personality, and Religion TorahPublic Education, Spiritual Development in, a Tower of David Charter School Case Study Transformation, ReligiousPurpose in Life Troeltsch, Ernst Tutu, Archbishop Desmond, and the South AfricanQuaker Education Truth and Reconciliation CommissionQur’an TyrantsRelational Consciousness UNESCOReligious Diversity in North America UNICEFReligious Theory, Developmental Systems View United NationsRetreatsRevelation Vaughan, HenryRitual Vodun (Voodoo)Rosicrucianism VolunteerismSacraments Wesley, JohnSacrifice Western WallSaints Wicca and WitchcraftSalvation WildernessSave the Children Witches in Popular CultureScience and Religion World Youth DaySearch Institute WorshipSedona, ArizonaSelf-Esteem YMCASemiotics YogaService Young LifeShamanism YouthBuildSierra ClubSin Zoroastrianism
  9. 9. Reader’s GuideThe distinction between that which is religious and Myththat which is spiritual is far from clear-cut and far Narrativefrom being an either-or type of distinction. For Siqueiros, David Alfaroexample, the Dalai Lama is both a religious figure and Spirituals, African Americana spiritual exemplar. We have therefore purposely kept Vaughan, Henry (see also Exemplars)the concepts of religious and spiritual together in organi-zing the encyclopedia’s Reader’s Guide. We have also CONCEPTS, RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUALplaced each entry into a category that best defines itsrelationship to the religious and/or spiritual. However, Angelsgiven that some entries are representative of more Apocalypsethan one category, we have placed in parentheses the Attitudinal Dimensionname of the category to which the entry also closely Awe and Wonderapplies. We hope this Reader’s Guide provides some Bodysense of the scope and range of the characteristics and Child’s Godcontexts that are involved in religious and spiritual Childhood Experiencesdevelopment. We also hope that this Reader’s Guide Christian Spiritualityhelps to frame what might be missing from this ency- Conversion (see also Practices, Religiousclopedia—as explained in the Introduction—as well and Spiritual)as where the study of religious and spiritual develop- Devilment may turn in the future. Doubt Eschatology EvilTHE ARTS FaithAngelou, Maya (see also Exemplars) FundamentalismCrashaw, Richard (see also Exemplars) GodDance God, Hindu View of (see also Practices,Dance Festivals, Latvian Religious and Spiritual)Donne, John (see also Exemplars) GraceDrama HappinessFilm HeavenGospel Music HellHerbert, George (see also Exemplars) Hinduism, Supreme Being of, the Hindu TrinityIslamic Art Kingdom of GodL’Engle, Madeleine (see also Exemplars) KrishnaLewis, C. S. (see also Exemplars) Mindfulness (see also Practices, ReligiousLiterature, Children’s and Spiritual)Literature, Moral Development in MysticismMusic Mysticism, Jewish xi
  10. 10. xii———Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual DevelopmentNeo-Paganism (see also Practices, Religious Bonhoeffer, Dietrich and Spiritual) Bunyan, JohnOriginal Sin ConfuciusPluralism (see also Practices, Religious and Spiritual) Crashaw, Richard (see also the Arts)Religious Diversity Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)Revelation Day, DorothySacrifice (see also Practices, Religious and Spiritual) Donne, John (see also the Arts)Saints Fox, GeorgeSalvation Gandhi, Mohandas K.Sin Herbert, George (see also the Arts)Soul Heschel, Abraham JoshuaTheodicy: God and Evil Islam, Founding Fathers ofTheologian, Adolescent as John the Baptist King Jr., Martin LutherHEALTH L’Engle, Madeline (see also the Arts) Lewis, C. S. (see also the Arts)Attachment Formation Lincoln, AbrahamAutism Luther, MartinBody Image MaryCoping in Youth Meher BabaFaith Maturity (see also Theory) Mother TeresaHealing, Children of War Muir, JohnHealth PopeHealth and Medicine (see also Practices, Saints Religious and Spiritual) St. BonaventureOrthodox Christian Youth in Western Societies St. Ignatius of LoyolaOutcomes, Adolescent Stein, EdithPositive Youth Development (see also Theory) Thich Nhat HanhPsychological Evil Tutu, Archbishop DesmondPsychological Type and Religion (see also Theory) Vaughan, Henry (see also the Arts)Psychopathology, Personality, and Religion Wesley, John (see also Theory)Purpose in LifeSelf-Esteem SCHOLARSSuicide and Native American Spirituality Aquinas, Thomas Benson, Peter Buber, MartinLEADING RELIGIOUS Coles, RobertAND SPIRITUAL FIGURES Dewey, JohnCentral Religious Figures Elkind, DavidBuddha Erikson, ErikJesus Fowler, JamesMuhammad Freud, AnnaMoses Freud, SigmundProphets of the Hebrew Bible James, William Jung, Carl and Post-Jungians Mead, George HerbertExemplars and Influential Figures Noddings, NelAngelou, Maya (see also the Arts) Oser, FritzBartlett, Phoebe Troeltsch, Ernst
  11. 11. Reader’s Guide———xiiiNATURE PRACTICES, RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUALCrop Circles AlchemyEcology AsceticismEnvironmental Ethics AstrologyGaia Hypothesis Buddhism, Socially EngagedMother Earth Conversion (see also Concepts, ReligiousNaturalism and Spiritual)Nature (see also Places, Religious Cults (see also Supports/Contexts) and Spiritual) DanceNature, the Sacred in Dialogue, Inter-ReligiousWilderness (see also Places, Discernment Religious and Spiritual) Eucharist Fasting ForgivenessORGANIZATIONS God, Hindu View of (see also Concepts,Educational Organizations (see also Religious and Spiritual) Supports/Contexts) Gospel Music (see also Art)Faith-based Service Organizations (see also Health and Medicine (see also Health) Supports/Contexts) Islam, Five Pillars ofInterVarsity Karma, Law ofJesuit Volunteer Corps Lord’s PrayerSave the Children MagicSearch Institute MeditationSierra Club Mindfulness (see also Concepts,Teen Challenge Religious and Spiritual)UNESCO Native American Spirituality, Practices ofUNICEF Neo-paganismUnited Nations ObjectivismWorld Youth Day Pluralism (see also Concepts, ReligiousYMCA and Spiritual)Young Life Pluralism, Hindu (see also Concepts,YouthBuild Religious and Spiritual) Prayer Psychological Prayer RitualPLACES, RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL SacramentsAltars Sacrifice (see also Concepts,Churches Religious and Spiritual)Delphi ServiceMecca Speech, EthicalMeherabad Spirituals, African American (See also Art)Mosque St. Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises ofNature (see also Wilderness) TarotRetreats Vodun (Voodoo)Sistine Chapel VolunteerismStonehenge Wicca and WitchcraftTower of David Witches, Popular CultureWestern Wall WorshipWilderness (see also Nature) Yoga
  12. 12. xiv———Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual DevelopmentSUPPORTS/CONTEXTS Faith Maturity (see also Health) Object RelationsAssets, Developmental Positive Youth Development (see also Health)Belief and Affiliation, Contextual Impacts on Psychoanalytic PerspectiveChild and Youth Care Psychological Type (see also Health)Communities, Intentional Spiritual Psychopathology, Personality, and ReligionCults (see also Health)Education, Christian Religion Relational ConsciousnessEducation, Spiritual Development in Religious Theory, Developmental Systems ViewEducational organizations (see also Religious Transformation Organizations) Science and ReligionFaith-based Service Organizations Semiotics (see also Organizations) Stage-Structural Approach to ReligiousHuman Rights DevelopmentParental Influence on Adolescent ReligiosityPeer and Friend Influences on Adolescent Faith Development TRADITIONSPolitics and Religion in the American PresidencyQuaker Education AboriginalReligious Diversity in North America Baptists Buddhism CatholicismTEXTS ChristianityApocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books Christianity, OrthodoxBhagavad Gita ConfucianismBible DaoismBible, Christian Episcopal ChurchBible, Jewish HinduismBook of Mormon IslamConfessions of St. Augustine Judaism, ConservativeDead Sea Scrolls Judaism, OrthodoxDhammapada Judaism, ReconstructionistEnoch, Book of Judaism, ReformGnostic Gospels Mexican American Religion and SpiritualityQur’an MormonismTorah Native American Spirituality Presbyterian RosicrucianismTHEORY ShamanismDifferences between Religion and Spirituality in Youth Spirituality, AustralianEnd of Life, Lifespan Approach Zoroastrianism
  13. 13. About the EditorsElizabeth M. Dowling., Ph.D, is the director of W. George Scarlett is an assistant professor andresearch for The ImagineNations Group. Elizabeth deputy chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Childworks closely with local, national, regional, and inter- Development at Tufts University. Professor Scarlettnational research partners to design and implement received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.Div. fromeffective and sustainable research practices for the Episcopal Divinity School, and a Ph.D. (inImagineNations and oversees information transfer to developmental psychology) from Clark University. Heall members of the ImagineNations staff. She gradu- has published extensively in the areas of religious andated from Haverford College in 1991 with a B.A. in spiritual development, children’s play, and approachespsychology and received a M.Ed. from Lesley to children’s problem behavior. In addition to his writ-University in 1994 in early childhood education. She ing, teaching, and administrative work, he has been areceived her doctorate in child development from long-time consultant for Head Start and the director ofTufts University. Elizabeth is the author of numerous a residential camp for emotionally disturbed children.publications in leading journals and handbooks ofhuman development. xv
  14. 14. ContributorsAbercrombie, Eric N. Bornstein, Marc H.Case Western Reserve University National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentAlberts, Amy E.Tufts University Bosacki, Sandra Brock UniversityAltman, Penny F.Sharon, Massachusetts Boyatzis, Chris J. Bucknell UniversityAllen, Wm. LoydMcAfee School of Theology Brady, Richard Sidwell Friends SchoolAl-Solaim, LamisRoyal Holloway University of London Bridgers, Lynn Emory UniversityAnderson, Pamela M.Tufts University Brotter, Jake Jurkowitz Tufts UniversityAntonucci, Toni C.University of Michigan Brown, Edna University of MichiganBarrett, Justin L.Douglas County Young Life Cain, Clifford Chalmers Franklin CollegeBaughman, Michael J.Princeton Theological Seminary Charlesworth, William R. University of MinnesotaBeit-Hallahmi, BenjaminUniversity of Haifa Chartrand-Burke, Tony York UniversityBell, DavidEmory University Cheek, Dennis William John Templeton FoundationBerndtson, AnnieTufts University Chilton, Bruce Bard CollegeBlakeney, Charles David Chirban, John T.University of Fribourg Harvard Medical SchoolBlakeney, Ronnie Frankel Hellenic CollegeUniversity of Fribourg Chu, PamelaBobek, Deborah L. Harvard Graduate SchoolTufts University of Education xvii
  15. 15. xviii———Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual DevelopmentClendenen, Avis Gold, GenevieSaint Xavier University Tufts UniversityClinton, Boruch ´ . Gozdziak, Elzbieta M.Ottawa Torah Institute Georgetown UniversityCoggan, Sharon L. Grainger, TeresaUniversity of Colorado at Denver Canterbury Christ Church University CollegeCrawford, Cory Gross, ZehavitHarvard University Bar Ilan UniversityCutting, Christopher Gubbay Helfer, SharonWilfrid Laurier University Concordia UniversityDelgado, Grace Peña Halstead, J. MarkCalifornia State University, University of Plymouth Long Beach Haselhoff, Eltjo H.Dillon, James Dutch Centre for Crop Circle ResearchState University of West Georgia Holcomb, Gay L.Dowling, Elizabeth M. Asbury CollegeImagineNations Group Hooker, CharlesDuffy, Timothy John Emory UniversityCollege of the Holy Cross Jindra, Ines WengerDuns, Ryan Gerard Spring Arbor UniversityJohn Carroll University Johnson, BaylorFernsler, Christine St. Lawrence UniversitySidwell Friends School Johnson, Mark C.Fiori, Katherine L. YMCA of the USAUniversity of Michigan Johnson, TroyFlick, Jr., Hugh M. California State UniversityYale University Johnson-Miller, Beverly C. Asbury Theological SeminaryForman, Jed DanielTufts University Kasimow, Harold Grinnell CollegeFountain-Harris, ChantalTufts University Kendall-Seatter, Sue Canterbury Christ Church University CollegeFrancis, Leslie J.University of Wales, Bangor Kibble, David G. Huntington SchoolGalarneau, Charlene A.Tufts University Kiesling, Chris Asbury Theological SeminaryGearon, Liam King, Pamela EbstyneUniversity of Surrey Roehampton Fuller Theological SeminaryGilmore, Christopher Kirchner, Sandra R.The Holistic Education Foundation Miami UniversityGlickman-Simon, Richard Klassen, ChrisTufts University York University
  16. 16. Contributors———xixKnaster, Mirka Posner, MeredithOakland, California Tufts UniversityLakeou, Lula Raman, Varadaraja V.Tufts University Rochester Institute of TechnologyLawton, Jane E. Redditt, Paul L.Santa Fe, New Mexico Georgetown CollegeLerner, Richard M. Reich, K. HelmutTufts University University of FribourgLeslie, Anne Richert, RebekahYouthBuild USA Harvard UniversityLindemann, Evie Roehlkepartain, Eugene C.Yale University School of Nursing Search InstituteLodish, Richard Rutman, Lori EllenSidwell Friends School Stanford University School of MedicineMackenzie, Elizabeth Rymarz, RichardBoston College Australian Catholic University LimitedMcClellan, Ian Scarlett, W. GeorgeTufts University Tufts UniversityMassey, Karen G. Schliesser, Christine CochloviusMercer University Tübingen UniversityMichaels, Cathleen Schuldenfrei, BrianEast Bay Conservation Corps Charter School Sinai Temple, Los AngelesMolleur, Joseph Schwartz, Kelly DeanCornell College Nazarene University CollegeMorrissey, Taryn W. Schweitzer, FriedrichCornell University Universität TübingenMueller, Ross A. Scott, Daniel G.Fuller Theological Seminary University of VictoriaNajmi, Danyal Semetsky, InnaTufts University Monash UniversityNeufeld, Dietmar Shenton, AndrewUniversity of British Columbia Boston UniversityNikolajev, Olga Sinkin, AmeliaOttawa, Ontario Tufts UniversityOberholtzer, Edward C. Snarey, JohnTufts University Emory UniversityO’Leary, David M. Sniegocki, JohnTufts University Xavier UniversityOsborn, Peter Spitzer, Lee B.Tufts University American Baptist Churches of New JerseyPoe, Gary R. Stavros, GeorgePalm Beach Atlantic University The Danielsen Institute
  17. 17. xx———Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual DevelopmentSteorts, Mitchael C. Watkins, GregTufts University Stanford UniversityStoneman, Dorothy Webster, Jane S.YouthBuild USA Barton CollegeStreib, Heinz White, David F.University of Bielefeld Emory UniversityThomas, Trudelle Wieland-Robbescheuten, JulieXavier University Wilfrid Laurier UniversityThuesen, Peter J. Wilson, MelanieTufts University New England Network for Child, Youth & Family ServicesTrousdale, Ann M.Louisiana State University Wong, Ping Ho The Hong Kong Institute of EducationVan Slyke, James A.Fuller Theological Seminary Worthington, Jr., Everett L. Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVarnish, AmandaBrock University Wright, Brian L. Tufts UniversityVerni, KevinTufts UniversityWalser, JosephTufts University
  18. 18. AcknowledgmentsThe editors would like to thank our editorial assistant, have greatly benefited from the guidance of our editorsJennifer Davison of the Institute of Applied Research in at Sage Publications, most especially Jim Brace-Youth Development (IARYD) at Tufts University. With Thompson, Sanford Robinson, and Karen Ehrmann.true patience and a bright sense of humor and spirit, Finally, we would like to thank our families and friends—Jennifer kept authors and editors in line and on task. We and all those who have inspired our own religious andwould also like to thank Richard M. Lerner and the fac- spiritual development. Your kindness, love, and faithulty, students, and staff at IARYD for the support and contributed to the creation and development of thistime that they willingly gave us during this project. We encyclopedia. xxi
  19. 19. IntroductionIn the 18th and 19th centuries, religion and spirituality Spiritual development and religious developmentwere supposed to be replaced by science and reason— are about identity development and how, across theor so many thought. But that did not happen, and today, human life span, one sees oneself in relation to thatreligion and spirituality play a major role in people’s which is considered divine or transcendent. While reli-lives and in determining world affairs. So to be informed gious development is usually about identifying one-about today’s world requires being informed about self with a particular religious tradition, its practicesmatters pertaining to religion and spirituality. This is and beliefs, spiritual development is about becomingespecially the case in a pluralistic global society that is a whole person, someone who stands for somethinggrowing increasingly “connected.” No longer are dif- that defines and gives meaning to being human. The twoferent religious groups found only in far-away places, may overlap–so that what is spiritual is also religious–to be experienced only in books or through word of but they need not. There is religion without spiritual-mouth. Instead, we now live in communities and nations ity and spirituality without religion.where multiple religions and multiple spiritualities are Due to the work and contributions of scholarspracticed. Furthermore, many of us have access to and academics, much has been learned about what itradio, television, newsprint, and the worldwide Web, means to be human and about the process of humanallowing us, with the turn of a knob or the click of a development. We have learned that individual devel-switch, to immerse ourselves in other cultures. We now opment involves the interplay of multiple contexts,are brought face-to-face with religious and spiritual contexts that interact in dynamic ways across the lifediversity. span. No two people share the same biology or the Despite the world becoming a global village, reli- same combination of contexts and experiences, so everygion and spirituality still elicit negative stereotypes person has a unique developmental history. The sameand foster fear, hatred, and even war. And yet, religion is true for religious and spiritual development. Owingand spirituality also foster peace and unity. Today, to the innumerable contexts that influence individualthen, perhaps more than ever, it is especially impor- development throughout the life span, religious andtant that we understand one another by understanding spiritual development must be understood as differentone another’s faith traditions and equally critical that for each person.we understand positive, healthy, religious and spiri- Furthermore, given that the contexts that affecttual development. We must seek to bridge divides, religious and spiritual development are innumerable,counteract negative stereotypes, and explode destruc- it is impossible to capture the entirety of their expres-tive myths so as to set the conditions that connect us sions or influence within one encyclopedia. In deciding,to all our fellow humans. then, on what entries to collect, we narrowed down a This encyclopedia joins a recent trend in research seemingly endless list of possible entries to present aand scholarship aimed at better understanding the sim- sample of contexts and experiences that are central forilarities and differences between world religions and at least some people, in some parts of the world, somespiritualities, between expressions of the divine and of the time. We do not assume that all people arebetween experiences of the transcendent. It does so, equally affected by or touched by the same contexts.however, with a focus on the development of religios- We do assume that people of different ages, genders,ity and spirituality. faiths, and ethnicities are more or less affected by the xxiii
  20. 20. xxiv———Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Developmentcontexts discussed in this encyclopedia at different With a recent heightened level of interest in thetimes in their lives. Therefore, we cannot reiterate study of religious and spiritual development, we imag-enough that the entries collected in this encyclopedia ine that in the future we will come to learn more aboutare offered as a collection of contexts that potentially the individual and shared characteristics and contextsimpact individual and group religious and spiritual that influence the development of spirituality and reli-development. We were intentional in making the giosity. As such, a future reference work on this topicselections we did. Their diversity represents the diver- may have a very different list of entries than the col-sity in religious and spiritual development. lection we present. We welcome this change and look This encyclopedia covers a wide range of topics— forward to what further research will contribute to thefrom ideas, to places, to people. Furthermore, the topics study and practice of healthy religious and spiritualcome in all sizes—from small topics, such as particular development.cultic practices, to large topics, such as major religions. This encyclopedia does not, then, teach all there isSome will say that we have included that which should to know about religious and spiritual development,be excluded and excluded that which should be but it can help point the reader in the right directions,included—and to a certain extent, they may be right. so that the reader can become better informed. WeHowever, once again, our intent was not to achieve a hope the reader will use this encyclopedia that way—perfectly balanced and representative sample of entries, as a pointer, or, to change the metaphor, as a windowbecause it is difficult to say what such a sample would into the many fascinating and complex phenomenalook like and, most certainly, each reader will have his and people that figure centrally in discussions of theor her own interests and definition of a balanced and development of religiousness and spirituality. We alsorepresentative sample. Rather, our intent was to provide hope the reader will use this encyclopedia for per-a sample of entries to help the reader become better sonal growth, to help answer those personal questionsinformed about the complexity of factors involved in that, if left unanswered, can stunt or arrest spiritualreligious and spiritual development, so as to become growth.better able to function in a pluralistic society and betterable to support personal spiritual growth. —Elizabeth M. Dowling and W. George Scarlett
  21. 21. A to know and behave in certain ways in relationship toABORIGINAL SPIRITUALITY, their own family, the land, and their spiritual relation-AUSTRALIAN ship to both. Clans consist of men, women, and children who The spirituality of Aboriginal people in Australia are considered to be descendants of the same ancestoris traditionally associated with specific tracts of land or ancestors, but whom at any one time, are scatteredin diverse ways. The ancestral spirits permeate social throughout a number of different lands. All clan memberslife, and individuals within each group develop a gen- within a language group are related, even if distantly,uine sense of belonging with the spiritual and physical and all relationships are recognized and respected.landscapes. Within individual regions, various social Unwritten rules govern how people are addressedgroups possess certain traits in addition to their spiri- by one another and what behaviors are appropriate fortual beliefs. They have a shared language or dialect and each relationship and each age group. These socialeconomic system, and particular songs and ceremonies relationships and rules are all part of the laws of thethat belong to their specific clan. Descent groups Dreaming.occupy particular environments and come to be asso- At birth, children possess their own spiritualciated with specific territories. Children at birth are presence, and the rest of the group already knows theirtaught which descent group they belong to and what kinship ties. They are given a special name at a cere-part of the land is theirs to be part of and protect. mony. From their earliest days, children live withinThey are taught songs and told stories about their their kin structure and are gradually taught how toancestors. behave toward other people. They have special kin- There have been perhaps 300 language groups in ship terms and relationships. For example, it is com-Aboriginal Australia. Today, many of those languages mon for the mother’s brother to occupy the mostno longer exist. There are approximately 20 languages important place in the life of a male child, guiding thestill spoken by more than a few people. As none of the young boy along the early steps towards initiation andlanguages were written, many have been lost forever. manhood.Clans or other descent-based groups comprised the An extended family usually lives at the same campsocial frameworks within each. Descent groups acted and moves about the territory as a group. Kinship is aas guardians of the land inherited from their ancestors. crucial element in the structuring of social and spiri-By belonging to a clan, individuals are provided with tual relationships in Aboriginal societies. Kinship isa birthright, a passport to a portion of the land, shared of prime importance throughout Aboriginal Australia,customs, and the obligation to comply with the rigor- and is applied to all people inclusively. It is part of theous rules of the social structure that accompany clan spiritual relationship to the land and their ancestors.membership. All children learn these rules at an early In traditional societies, everyone with whom anage. At each stage of development, they are expected Aboriginal person comes into social contact is likely 1
  22. 22. 2———Aboriginal Spirituality, Australianto be recognized as some kind of relative. Every being. Each region would be influenced by severalindividual is connected to everyone else by descent, powerful figures and those Ancestral Beings wouldmarriage, or some other form of affiliation. To an then continue to support and resource the communitiesoutsider, the network of relationships and obligations living within that area. When their work was done, themight seem complex. Nobody remains outside the kin- Ancestral Beings sank into the earth or returned to theship system, and all are required to carry out their sky, ready to be called upon by prescribed ritual.obligations and responsibilities toward others and the Australian Aboriginals understand that they act asland. No one is forgotten. If children are left orphaned custodians of the land, and are therefore responsibleor adults widowed, they are incorporated into the kin- for protecting the world of the spirit beings that cre-ship system. This in turn connects all to a spiritual ated the land and still live in mountains, waterholes,life. In its simplest form, the notion of kin is based on trees, rocks, and sky. The Ancestral Beings are hon-the idea that a man calls his brother’s children son and ored and called to protect the land by prescribeddaughter. In turn, they address him as father as they do rituals of the elders. The places on the earth wheretheir biological father. A man’s sister’s children are Ancestral Beings brought forth life are still known asconsidered son and daughter. sacred sites. Traditionally, spiritual beliefs permeate every The all-pervasive powers of the Ancestral Beingsaspect of life. The spirit helps the individual of the Dreaming are present in the land and naturalpass through a series of important life events or rites species, and reside within individuals. Particular groups,of passage. The laws are laid down in the Dreaming. tribes, or clans fulfill their responsibilities, workingThe Dreaming is a term used to describe the within a highly complex structure that incorporatesspiritual, natural, and moral order of the cosmos. spiritual belief, sacred law, ceremonies, kinship, andEach life segment brings with it a set of rights and places in a particular area with which they have beenobligations. associated for many thousands of years. It is associ- Children spend a lot of their time in the company ated with their day-to-day survival in provision ofof other youngsters and various adults, especially food and medicines, ritual songs, objects, and graphicmembers of the extended family. They enjoy great designs.freedom as long as their actions do not harm anyone One of the best-known sacred sites in Australia isand they obey instructions such as staying clear of Uluru (Ayers Rock), on the land of the Pitjantjatjaradangerous and sacred places. Proper respect to elders people, which is of particular significance to the Malaand family is to be shown at all times. Many of the (Wallaby) and Kunia (Carpet Snake) clans. Thereproper ways of behaving are conveyed to children are many other sacred sites throughout Australia. Inthrough stories and songs around the campfire. These simple terms, sacred sites are like churches. Each sitestories vary from region to region and are passed on has particular meaning and significance and specialorally. The stories have several levels. The first stories ceremonies and ways of behaving associated withwere for children and all community members. The it. Often their location and significance are closelysame story may vary in information for different ages guarded secrets and cannot be shared with outsiders.and contain sacred information. Art and drawings are It is not proper to discuss sacred sites with everyone,also used to convey spiritual information linking as some sites are only to be shared by men and somealways to the land. sites are only for women. Men’s and women’s busi- Creation stories follow a general pattern, all related ness are scrupulously segregated, but of equal powerto the land and landscape. Before creation, the land and importance in traditional societies.now called Australia was a barren place, devoid of all Land represents the mainspring of the psyche andhuman life. In the Dreamtime, Ancestral Beings came well-being of the people who inhabit a certain terri-down from the stars and rose from the earth. They tory. Communities and individuals are still directlymoved across the land, singing into existence an intri- responsible for the protection of the land under theircate network of rivers, deserts, mountains, forest, guardianship. This responsibility or custodianshipanimals, and birds. They stretched to the sun announc- forms the basis of much of the conflict that continuesing; “I am Ant!” “I am Snake!” “I am Kangaroo!” “I to exist between Aborigines and those who operate inam Emu!” As they called out the names they created a way that abuses the sacred obligations placed onsacred songs that brought aspects of the land into those who inhabit the land. Land can never be sold or
  23. 23. Adversity, Overcoming———3traded, as it represents a sacred bequest from the that to the first people of Australia the land was filledAncestral Beings and the Dreaming. with an intricate web of Dreaming. “We walk together Specialized knowledge of any territory, such as on sacred ground. Black feet, white feet, footprints,details of ritual and the more intimate details of the soft upon the land. The Tjukurpa (Pitjantjatjara wordparticular relationship of any community to their tra- for Dreaming) moves beneath our feet. The landscapeditional lands, is jealously guarded. It is considered is alive.”—Anon.sacrilegious to share privileged information with out- —Jane E. Lawtonsiders. From an early age children are taught relation-ships and knowledge about their role in learning andpassing on rituals and information belonging to their FURTHER READINGparticular family group. Horton, D. (1994). The encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal law is very sacred and complex. Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal andCeremonial objects used in rituals to do with the law Torres Strait Islander Studies.are revered, and kept in the possession of either the Jacob, T. (1991). In the beginning: A perspective on traditional“clever man” or “clever woman.” It is a serious trans- Aboriginal societies. Perth, Western Australia: Ministry ofgression of the law to look upon them, even by acci- Education.dent. Aboriginal elders are “wise men and clever Caruana, W. (1996). Aboriginal art. New York: Thames andwomen” who have the sacred responsibility of acting Hudson. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderas guardians of the land and the sites created by the Studies. Retrieved February 5, 2005, from www.aiatsis.gov.auAncestral Beings. They believe that disturbance ofa sacred site by entering without the appropriateceremony represents a violation of that trust that hasbeen handed down for hundreds of generations, longbefore Australia was settled by others. All children are ADVERSITY, OVERCOMINGtaught to show respect to their elders. The Ancestral Beings are still relevant today. Day- Adversity refers to hardship and misfortune.to-day activities are carried out within the framework Although what constitutes hardship and misfortuneof that original structure created many thousands of may vary from one person to another, there are gen-years ago. They continue to inspire, protect, support, eral stressors considered by most to be conditionsand govern daily life of traditional Aboriginal people, defining hardship and misfortune. Stressors come inand are recognized by all Aborigines, even those who two types: acute and chronic. Acute stressors are majorhave grown up in cities. The Dreaming has deep and life events such as the loss of a loved one, a divorce,sacred meanings. It is inaccurate to refer to Dreaming and a major accident causing bodily harm. Chronicstories as fables or folklore, as the Dreaming is not stressors include long-term neglect (by parents, peers,fictitious to many Aboriginal people. others in general), poverty, and permanent physical and This traditional and complex culture was in no mental disabilities. Religion often serves as a meansway prepared to encounter white explorers and settlers to cope with such adversity.from alien cultures with a vastly different belief system. The research on coping distinguishes betweenThe colonizers believed that Australia was an empty three types, namely, self-directing, deferring, andcontinent, or terra nullius, which is Latin for “a land collaborative types. The self-directing type refers tobelonging to no-one.” It was established as a concept when people rely mostly on themselves to cope; thein European international law in the age of European deferring type refers to when people take control bycolonization. Nyoongar elder Yongar Mungan tells the giving control over to God; the collaborative typestory of Aboriginal leader Yellagonga who, when greeted refers to when people collaborate with God, that is,by Captain James Stirling in the southwest of Western see both themselves and God as actively participatingAustralia, “He bowed and offered his country and in the coping process.resources to the settler.” It was thought the settlers were The self-directing type of coping is associated withcountrymen who had returned from the spirit world. a greater sense of personal control and higher self- Today, many Aboriginal people in Australia still esteem. An example of self-directing coping is havinghonor their traditions. All people in Australia know a sense that God will support one’s decisions on how
  24. 24. 4———Alchemyto cope, but the decisions themselves are one’s own. Pargament. K I. (1990). God help me: Toward a theoreticalThe deferring type of coping is associated with lower framework of coping for the psychology of religion.self-esteem, less planning and problem solving, and Research in the Social-Scientfic Study of Religion, 2, 195–224.greater intolerance for the differences found in others. Smith, C., & Carlson, B. (1997). Stress, coping, and resilienceAn example of the deferring type is when individuals in children and youth. Chicago: University of Chicagopray for God to do something miraculous. The collab- Press.orative type of coping is similar to the self-directingtype in that it too is associated with greater sense ofpersonal control and greater self esteem. However, withthe collaborative type, there is an active give-and-take ALCHEMYbetween the individual and God. For example, anindividual may pray for support and strength needed The word alchemy is itself of Arabic origin,to solve certain problems defining his or her adverse although its original significance is lost. Forms ofsituation. alchemy have been practiced over many hundreds of No matter what type of coping, all follow similar years by the Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, andsteps. First, there is a major life event, followed by an Arabs, but in Europe it reached the peak of its popu-appraisal and then some coping activity that focuses larity with a proliferation of new texts on the subjecteither on fixing a problem or on improving some in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was practiced by figuresemotional-psychological condition. Appraisal plays a as diverse as John Dee, Francis Bacon, Thomas Vaughan,central role in the coping process. In making an appraisal Robert Boyle, and Isaac Newton. The popular imageof their adverse circumstances, individuals can see the of alchemists was of secret brotherhoods and individualsame circumstances very differently. For example, when fraudsters (Ben Jonson’s satirical play The Alchemisttold they have a cancerous tumor, individuals can appraise and Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s drawing of the sametheir situation as a challenge to take on or as a hopeless name illustrate this), but it was not until the growth ofsituation that they have to accept. These different modern science in the 18th century (to which alchemyappraisals determine what strategies will follow. had itself made no small contribution) that interest Religion can play an integral role in coping with began to decline.adversity. Indeed, after tragic events, sometimes The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung introducedturning to religion can seem the only way to cope. a new approach to alchemy in the 20th century. HeReligious coping activities are numerous, and include noted a close correspondence between the dreams andcultivating relationships with members of a faith com- fantasies of his patients and the writings of alchemists,munity, including the clergy, as well as cultivating a particularly in terms of recurrent symbols and imagesrelationship with God. They include cognitive change, (such as sun and moon, king and queen, toad, dragon,such as finding a lesson or meaning in adversity; eagle, and rose). He considered that alchemical litera-emotional change, such as feeling dependent on God; ture could be explained in psychological terms, and hebehavioral change, such as leading a more caring life; viewed the symbols as manifestations of a “collectiveand social change, such as investing energy in social unconscious.” Although Jung’s own life and work werecauses. It is difficult to determine how many people profoundly influenced by his contact with alchemy,turn to religion in order to cope with adversity. How- the impact on psychoanalytical theory has so far beenever, research has shown that for many people in limited.adverse circumstances, religion is indeed relied on for Alchemy, sometimes known simply as “The Art,”coping. is an esoteric mixture of ancient wisdom and quasi- —Meredith Posner scientific experimentation. Essentially it is about trans- formation, particularly the purification and perfectionSee also Coping in Youth of base, unrefined materials. The transformation may be at a physical or spiritual level. At a physical level, it is usually expressed in terms of the attempt to trans-FURTHER READING form base metals into gold, and it involves complexPargament, K. I. (1997). The psychology of religion and procedures in the laboratory. It may also be about trans- coping. New York: Guilford Press. formation from sickness to health, or from old age to
  25. 25. Altars———5youth. At the spiritual level, the various alchemical In a spiritual sense, the prima materia on whichprocesses in spiritual transformation may be symbolic the alchemist works is himself, and (at least from aof the attempt to perfect base human nature; the trans- Christian perspective) Christ is the perfect Philosopher’sformation and purification occur as a result of the spir- Stone. When the alchemist seeks to free the soul (mer-itual experiences encountered on the journey through cury) and spirit (sulphur) from the body (salt) and tolife. reunite them in a purified form, he is seeking to purge Many key alchemical terms have meaning on himself of the impurity of sin, so that he can be madethe physical and spiritual levels simultaneously. For again in Christ’s image. The alchemical process thusexample, conjunction (sometimes called the alchemi- helps an understanding of God’s will and purposecal marriage) refers in the laboratory to the fusing of in creation. Many 17th-century Christian writers andmercury and sulphur, but at a spiritual level (espe- poets use images drawn from alchemy to convey deepcially in the writing of a Christian alchemist like spiritual truths. George Herbert, for example, in hisJakob Boehme) it refers to the soul’s union with God; poem “The Elixir,” claims to have found in the princi-it is variously symbolized by the marriage of a king ple of doing every action as if for God “the famousand queen, by sexual union, by astrological conjunc- stone that turneth all to gold.”tion (e.g., of the sun and the moon) and by the figure —J. Mark Halsteadof the hermaphrodite. The goal of the “sacred philosophy” of the alchemists See also Art, Visual; Herbert, George; Jung, Carl and Post-was to produce the Philosopher’s Stone, which could Jungiansthen be used as the agent of all kinds of transforma-tion, including turning base metals into gold, pro-longing life, and curing the sick. The Stone could FURTHER READINGtake a variety of forms, including powder or liquid, Burland, C. A. (1967). The arts of the alchemists. London:and was also known as the Elixir or Tincture. The Weidenfeld and Nicolson.alchemical process was thus to turn the prima mate- Gilchrist, C. (1984). Alchemy: the great work. Wellingborough: Aquarian Press.ria (“ordinary matter”—although of course there wasmuch debate about what was the best substance tostart with) into the Philosopher’s Stone by separatingit into its components, purging its impurities, andreconstituting it in perfect proportion in its refined ALTARSform. There was no precise formula for achieving thisresult. The alchemist had to create a model of the uni- The Oxford English Dictionary defines altar as averse (or of human consciousness) within a sealed, block, pile, table, stand, or other raised structure, with apreferably egg-shaped, glass vessel or flask. Through plain top, on which to place or sacrifice offeringsa complicated succession of gradual heating and to a deity. The altar can be a place where incensedistillation, the transformation of the prima materia is burned in worship. Nearly all world religions andcould take place. The transformation required the faiths have use of an altar. The classical Hebrew sense“death” of the body or original substance, the ascen- of the altar is as the meeting place between heaven andsion of the “soul,” the reuniting of the two in a new earth. The physical altar becomes the place of meetingway and the fixing of the volatile elements thus between the Creator and humanity. It is the place ofgenerated. sacrifice and of communion. The altar is always a very The sequence of 12 stages of the laboratory process special place of devotion and deepest respect.are described by the 15th-century English alchemist, In many religions, the altar began as the place ofCanon George Ripley, as calcination, solution, separa- sacrifice. This altar would have been temporary andtion, conjunction, putrefaction, congelation, cibation, erected for the moment. Offerings were made to asublimation, fermentation, exaltation, multiplication, deity, including fruits, vegetables, animals, and evenand finally projection (i.e., the use of the Stone for humans (in some societies and times). Once a faithtransformation). The whole operation is described in tradition or religion became a bit more permanent,the symbolic language of birth, marriage, death, res- the altar was eventually turned into a very permanenturrection, battles, dragons, birds, and celestial bodies. structure located inside a sacred building, temple, or
  26. 26. 6———Angelou, Mayachurch. Only the ritually trained were allowed to is nourished and fed. The altar should be seen as acome to the altar. Barriers and railings were set up to place where all are welcomed, where the poor findkeep out those not fully trained to minister at the altar. justice, victims of oppression find freedom, and the Christianity sees the altar on many levels. The altar whole of humanity is reunited with its Creator.is where simple gifts of bread and wine are placed —Rev. David M. O’Learyfor Eucharistic worship. The altar becomes the tableof the Lord. The Last Supper of Jesus sees a meal See also Christianity; Churches; Eucharist; Judaism; Sacrificebecoming a time for theology. The altar and/or tablenow takes on deeper meaning. Just like in any family,a special meal with family gathered takes on a deepermeaning. The table indeed becomes an altar. Great ANGELOU, MAYAcare is taken to set the table/altar, special vessels areused on the table/altar, and stories are shared (sacred I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) is a pow-scriptures are proclaimed). Once at the table, people erful, inspirational childhood autobiography by Mayatend to stay there. Being allowed at the big persons’ Angelou, the well-known literary, artistic, and spiritualtable is seen as an initiation into adulthood. The meal figure. The book spans her early childhood throughis more than just a sharing of food. Even though one adolescence, most of it spent in the South in the 1930smay take great pride in a beautifully set table/altar, it and 1940s. The author’s voice is primarily the first-is the experience of communion with one another that person vantage point of a child. The opening scene isis of prime importance. After Jesus’ resurrection from Easter Sunday in church, with young Maya squirmingthe dead, it was at table that he revealed himself to his in the children’s section; spiritual and religious issuesfollowers, in the breaking of the bread. Again, it is the permeate the book. Angelou captures many commontable/altar that becomes a place of action and of con- paradoxes of living, and explores the role of faith andvergence between believers and the deity. spirituality in reconciling these tensions. Pervasive More recently, a split in understanding of the through the book are influences of race, gender, socio-altar has developed. The altar has become a place for economic status, geographical region, and historicalmeals, remembrance, and community. The older idea era. This autobiography contextualizes spiritual devel-of altar as the place of sacrifice is fading away in some opment. Every page speaks a human voice, and thuscircles of believers. The altar is now seen as the table captures the authenticity of the personal and institu-of the Lord where the community gathers. Some com- tional in a child’s spirituality.munities try to hold on to the multiple ideas of altar. Throughout the book, Angelou illustrates howSome would see the altar as the place of sacrifice, the children’s many social contexts—family, church, school,Lord’s Table, and a place of nourishment and strength peers, neighborhood, and so on—all influence spiri-for the community gathered. The altar can be a table tual development. Spirituality’s life-affirming role inof joy, a place of communion and peace, and a source the African-American community is made particu-of unity and friendship. larly evident in Maya’s childhood during which she There is one final aspect of altar that is slowly being lived in a small, segregated town in Arkansas. The val-forgotten. The altar has also been a place of memorial ues, worldviews, and disciplines in the faithful com-for a person who died for the faith or the deity. The munities of which she is a part uphold her spiritualgraves of special people had altars erected on them in journey. However, other communities (such as Maya’ssome religious faiths. The purpose of this altar was to time in St. Louis with her mother) are lacking in spir-be a memorial of the martyr’s death. In fact, in most itual grounding, and Maya’s development suffers. InRoman Catholic churches, altars have to have a relic both communities, Maya’s spirituality is crucial in her(an object of a saint) placed into the altar. Some ancient resilience against tough odds.churches are built over the remains of an early believer A crucial figure in Maya’s life is her maternal(e.g., the central church of Roman Catholicism, the grandmother, Momma, who raises Maya and her olderVatican in Rome, is built on Saint Peter’s remains). brother in Stamps, Arkansas, after the children’s neg- Today, most communities would see the altar as a ligent parents in California sent them packing. Mommaplace of gathering of the believers. It is a place where shares her theology in verbal assertions, such as Godthe mystery of God’s gift unfolds, and the community “never gives us more than we can bear” (p. 132) and
  27. 27. Angels———7“God is love. Just worry about whether you’re being a in a tent with a dirt floor, and she wondered, “Wouldgood girl then he will love you” (p. 47). Momma’s God the Father allow His only Son to mix with thisauthoritarian behavior, demands for cleanliness and crowd of cotton pickers and maids, washerwomen andobedience in the name of God, and her own daily spir- handymen?” The book is a window into the child’situal disciplines provide a powerful model for Maya’s soulful struggles with the worth of herself and herobservational learning of spirituality. Momma begins people in God’s eyes. The book continues througheach day with morning prayer and she regularly adolescent struggles, and a more personal “individuative-invokes God to cope with stressors. A traumatic inci- reflective” orientation begins to emerge as she wrestlesdent occurred when unkempt, impudent white girls with sexuality, vocation, self-esteem, and changingapproached Momma to mock her, a display of disre- interpersonal relations.spect that Momma would never tolerate from her own This wonderful autobiography is a study offamily. Young Maya watched helplessly as her grand- resilience, of the child’s capacity to not only survivemother stood her ground, and did not defend herself but even thrive amid adversity. Maya’s spirituality,but instead quietly uttered under her breath. Maya, the shaped by many forces, is the fertile soil in which thisyoung spiritual apprentice observing her grand- resilience grows. This is a superb book for a maturemother’s faith in action, could hear her elder singing, adolescent group, although sections describing“Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me til I want Maya’s sexual abuse as a child and her adolescentno more.” Maya saw that faith serves as a shield against sexual explorations will disturb some. Boyatzis andthe slings and arrows of a hard life, and she concluded Braxton, among other sources, may help educators,that “whatever the contest had been out front, I knew parents, or youth ministers use Angelou’s book. Child-Momma had won” (p. 27). This indelible experience, hood autobiographies have become popular, and manywitnessing how faith allows one to endure suffering emphasize spiritual themes, including Kimmel, Scot,and enables one to salvage spiritual victory from the and Hampl. Each eloquently depicts the inextricablejaws of defeat, gave Maya a deep metaphor to grasp links between childhood and adolescent spirituality,the essential theme of death and resurrection. and the family, church, community, and time and place While Momma provides spiritual discipline and in the American landscape. Amidst this fine literature,strength, Maya’s older brother, Bailey, provides an Angelou’s book is perhaps the finest case study ofunconditional love that creates in Maya a more bal- spiritual development.anced, healthy spirituality. Bailey is Maya’s compan- —Chris J. Boyatzision and supporter. In a most eloquent passage (p. 19),Maya writes: “Of all the needs . . . a lonely child has,the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be FURTHER READINGhope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaking need Angelou, M. (1969). I know why the caged bird sings.for an unshakable God. My pretty Black brother was New York: Bantam.my Kingdom Come.” While Momma embodies God’s Boyatzis, C. J. (1992). Let the caged bird sing: Using literatureomnipotence and absoluteness, Bailey incarnates to teach developmental psychology. Teaching of Psycho-God’s unconditional, loving acceptance. Others, too, logy, 19, 221–222.contribute to Maya’s spirituality, such as Louise, Maya’s Braxton, J. M. (Ed.). (1999). I know why the caged bird sings:first childhood friend, and Mrs. Flowers, the aristocrat A casebook. New York: Oxford University Press. Hampl, P. (1992). Virgin time. New York: Ballantine.of Black Stamps who makes Maya “proud to be Kimmel, H. (2001). A girl named Zippy: Growing up small inNegro” (p. 79). Mooreland, Indiana. New York: Doubleday. Angelou’s journey illustrates developmental trends Scot, B. J. (1995). Prairie reunion. New York: Riverhead.in faith development (e.g., Fowler). In middle child-hood, Angelou has a “mythic-literal” faith “absorbed”from her family; Deuteronomy with its rigid lawsis her favorite book of the Bible. Later in childhood, ANGELSMaya experiences growing skepticism and questioningabout her community’s faith norms. As Maya approaches In English, the word “angel” comes from the Greekadolescence, a revival meeting (chapter 18) generates word angelos meaning messenger. In Christian, Islam,doubt in her, as she is confused by worshipping God and Jewish beliefs, angels are said to be supernatural
  28. 28. 8———Angelsbeings above ordinary mankind, or citizens of inner historians. Not all traditional institutions or academicsspace. As messengers from God, their function is to have agreed on the order and content of these hierar-praise and to serve God and mankind, helping in many chies and, indeed, the spelling in English of manydifferent ways those in harmony with them. Also angels often varies. However, Dionysius the Areopagite,known as Prets, Devas, Bhuts, and Devtas, angels are a disciple of Saint Paul in the sixth century, describedbelieved to be everywhere, although they have never three categories or spheres of angels, with three ordersbeen known to incarnate in human form. They remain in each. Using this model of nine orders of service,mostly invisible, and are sexless by nature. Without angels who serve as heavenly counselors are in theapparent feelings, through their service they express first sphere and contain the seraphim, cherubim andlove and compassion for humans in distress. In watch- thrones, all of which contemplate God’s goodness anding over virtually every aspect of human activity, there reflect his glory. A brief description of the nine ordersare also records of them being on hand in order to help of angelic beings follows.the creative progress of activities that are serving aspiritual purpose. This especially applies to those on 1. Seraphim: Singing the music of the spheres,earth ready to become more conscious and responsi- these angels are among the most wise and dedi-ble for their own spiritual development. cated in their love of God. Although remote from “Angel” is a generic name for a vast host of invisi- human experience, they are said to help regulateble beings said to populate the seven heavens. Some the movement of the heavens. The heavenlypeople express angels as thoughts of God. There is hosts might seem to work in graded ranks.no one correct way of perceiving angels or beings of However, it is more helpful to see them all work-light. In so far as they reflect and amplify our own ing as one so that the seraphim, who seem fur-condition, they can appear in as many ways and in thest removed from us on earth, also work withmany colors. Most are said to be so dazzling that their the God in each human being. For example,forms look as if weaved out of fluid light beams. Isaiah in his vision saw the six-winged seraphimAlthough some of the Higher Beings have been seen above the throne of God, and one of them carriedto be as tall as the sky, angels are said to be in the a burning coal to his mouth to purge his sin.same line of evolution as earth’s nature spirits of the 2. Cherubim: Contemplating God’s Laws, cheru-fairy kingdom. To define elusive angel forms could be said bim are the guardians of light. No matter howto be as difficult as defining electrons is for the quan- remote they seem, their light, as from the stars,tum physicist. Better to experience them directly. filters down from the heavens and touches our In the first centuries of the Christian era, many lives on earth. Some astrologers claim that thereknown as heretics called on angels for help, just as are 72 angels, in groups of 18. These control allpre-Christian “pagans” had been blamed for calling four elements, each angel governing 5 degrees ofon the many gods of the old religion, paganism. In the Zodiac. Overseeing the element of Fire, 18Latin religio paganorum means “peasants’ religion.” angels control action, illumination, and transfor-Thus, for centuries the Church forbade the “ignorant” mation. Eighteen angels control the element offaithful to give the angels names. From its religious Water, expressed as emotion, love, desire, andrites it also banned anything that could evoke them, passion. For the element of Air, another 18 angelspreserving only the names of the four main archangels oversee practical intelligence and communica-familiar to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Although tion. Helping human prosperity, security, andtheir names Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel are abundance, 18 angels oversee the element ofmale, most commentators see all angels as having no Earth. As for birth, the single word cherub, por-specific human gender. And virtually all the world’s trayed as a winged baby with a chubby, rosy face,systems of religious belief include celestial beings in is mentioned in the Christian bible, Genesis 3:24.their cosmologies, their scriptures containing refer-ences of angelic interventions. 3. Thrones: Thrones represent the first order in the Moving down from the Supreme Creator or God, third sphere. Think of these angels as celestialangels are organized in a celestial hierarchy, by means solicitors. They implement the laws mentionedof classifications generally accepted by commentators above. In dark days, it is good to remember that,of many faiths including the Cabbalists and angel as well as being companion angels with each of
  29. 29. Angels———9 the planets, the Earth angel, guardian of this holds a pair of scales suggesting, perhaps, that world, can be especially solicitous to those in balance in all matters is the ultimate wisdom. spiritual need. • Gabriel, the messenger of divine mercy and Revelation is often depicted holding a lily4. Dominions: These heavenly beings govern the to represent at the Annunciation, purity, and activities of all angelic groupings below them. truth. Sometimes seen with an ink well and They also integrate the spiritual and material quill, his function is as the heavenly commu- worlds. Although they serve the laws and orders nicator of the Word of God. Not only did he of God and thereby prescribe action, they rarely visit the Virgin Mary in the form of a man, contact individual souls. Nonetheless, their ser- Gabriel also visited Mohammed as he slept, vice is very much in tune with the constraints of with the angel’s feet astride the horizon in physical reality. order to dictate the Koran.5. Virtues: From the Divine Source, essential ener- • Raphael is the bringer of divine healing, his gies come from good deeds. Thus, those who right forefinger pointing toward heaven. work with these beings can become infused with Often he is shown as a pilgrim with a gourd. great spiritual energies necessary at this time In front of him leaps a curative fish. By way for our present home planet, Earth. Virtues are of saving a suicide, such a fish has been beyond and before powers (see next category). known to leap out of water when some unfor-6. Powers: These beings are the keepers of collec- tunate—but blessed—soul on a riverbank is tive consciousness and cosmic history, as well thinking of drowning himself. Raphael also as bearers of the conscience of all humanity. holds a staff or caduceus entwined with a The angels of birth and death are therefore snake to symbolize healing. included here. Like the leaves of a tree draw • Uriel, as the radiant regent of the sun, is the down the powers of sunlight into the soil, so bearer of the fire of God, and is seen with a these light beings draw down the energies of the flame in his open hand. He rules over thunder divine plan. Multifaith in service, they work and terror so that, like lightning, the knowl- with and for all that exists, holistically, without edge of God can be delivered to the people of fear or favor. Their intention is to help the spiri- the earth. Helping to interpret and decode our tual evolution of this planet. Thus, they govern inner voice, prophecy and wisdom are also the operations engaged in by both the Thrones his domain. He can appear holding a scroll, and the Dominions. or with a book at his feet that he gave to Adam with all the medicinal herbs in it.7. Principalities: In medieval angelology, these • The Recording Angels are often referred to by were known as guardian angels, not of human those who wish to consider that all deeds on individuals, but of large groups such as nations earth are seen and accountable. Metatron might and the welfare of their cities. Even today’s be considered the most earthly of archangels. multinationals, as in worldwide corporations, Taken up to heaven as a wise and virtuous man, have such protection as appropriate to their con- he is now depicted holding a pen or quill while sciousness and spiritual development. recording human deeds in the Book of Life.8. Archangels: Many religions tell of spiritual beings that have never incarnated. Those most 9. Angels: As indicated above, angels can appear in mentioned are the archangels. They oversee many forms and have many different functions. the actions of human leaders. The four main In India, for example, they are known as pitarah. archangels familiar to Jews, Christians, and Although dealing less with individuals these Muslims follow: household deities are perceived to protect families against illness, famine, drought, and other disas- • Michael, the messenger of divine judgment, ters. To the Australian aboriginal, the wajima rep- usually depicted with a sword to subdue Satan resents the spirit of an ancestor. For the Pueblo (represented sometimes as a dragon), to cut peoples of the American Southwest, the kachina away evil. As the Guardian of Peace, he also is known as a guiding, beneficent life spirit.

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