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The Positive Practice of Religion Among African-American Children - Research Proposal Example

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This research proposal discusses the causality between the positive practice of religion, its effects on spirituality, and its impact on the development of positive social attitudes among African-American children. Several research studies have been conducted on the social attitudes of African-Americans…
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The Positive Practice of Religion Among African-American Children
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Download file to see previous pages One of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, stated that “religion will be a powerful regulator of our actions, give us peace and tranquility within our minds, and render us benevolent, useful and beneficial to others” (Isaacson, 2003, p. 87-88). Over the last quarter of a millennium, American society has undergone a seismic shift in several aspects, more notably in the role of religion and the belief that its practice has beneficial effects on society. Several studies (Paul, 2005; Inglehart and Baker, 2000; Idler and Kasl, 1992) have attempted to show the correlation between America’s social problems and the negative effects of secularization on the practice of religion, and that such a development would have detrimental consequences to the future of democracy. Aral and Holmes (1996) and Hummer et al. (1999) also showed that this phenomenon is evident not only in America but also in other developed democracies such as Europe and Japan. On the contrary, they argue, democratic nations such as those in predominantly Catholic Latin America and in parts of Africa with societies influenced by Christianity (such as Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia) where the people are noted for religiosity often exhibit the worst forms of social behavior. In another study, Barro and McCleary (2003) used the term “spiritual capital” in reference to the social benefits that proceed with the practice of religion. They concluded that America’s deep social problems in a period of great economic prosperity and the highest expenditures for health care among the world’s developed democracies point to serious inefficiencies in converting wealth into cultural and physical health and trace this inefficiency to a decline in religious practices. A review of these studies that investigated the hypothesis that religiosity is socially beneficial identified a common list of factors to define positive religious practices, such as belief in a creator, attendance to worship, practice of prayer or positive social behavior, and that this correlates with low rates of lethal violence, suicide, sexual promiscuity, and abortion, as well as improved physical health. Societies that exhibit such positive evidence of religiosity are said to support so-called “cultures of life” where majority of the population believe in God, that they have been created for a special purpose in life, and that personal fulfillment rests on the free, voluntary, and loving correspondence to the moral indications of religion and faith. This is the stand, for example, of the Roman Catholic Church, the biggest global Christian denomination, where a previous leader (John Paul II, 1995) warned against the growing pro-abortion “culture of death” that is an offshoot of western secular materialism. Although the different Christian denominations are divided into a few key points of doctrine, where they all tend to find common ground is in sounding the warning on the negative social consequences of declining religiosity. Regardless of their theological differences, Christians consider it an important part of their purpose in life to transform humanity and the world into a community of love, peace, and understanding through the practice of religion. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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