Religious Identity Research Paper

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Religion, according to social identity theory has been most powerful in providing insight into the relation between the self-concept and the social groups to which one belongs (Tajfel and Turner, 1979). Identifying with a group often gives us benefits to well-being (for instance, by offering support and a sense of belonging) (Baumeister and Leary, 1995; Haslam et al, 2009; Galen and Rogers, 2004; VonDras et al., 2007). Groups may be capable to achieving goals (for example, social change through political action (Verkuyten and Yildiz, 2007) that would otherwise be unattainable at the individual level (Haslam et al., 2009). As a social identity anchored in a system of building beliefs, religious affiliation should serve a uniquely powerful function…show more content…
One of the tenets that may empower religious identity is the steadfast belief that one’s own religion is the truth (Kinnvall, 2004; Stark, 2001; Wellman and Tokuno, 2004). Earlier research demonstrated that beliefs yield to evidence in situations where an alternate identity has been affirmed (G. L. Cohen, Aronson, and Steele, 2000). Moreover, given that religious belief systems (for instance the existence of God) can be neither proven nor disproven, the faith inherent in religious identification is able to thrive regardless, although a unitary perception of the truth has been conceptualized as fundamentalist in nature by some , it may be far more widespread as an individual’s loyalty to a particular set of religious beliefs rests on the premise that his or her religion is the correct one to follow (Altemeyer and Hunsberger, 2004; Herriot, 2007). This positive intergroup comparison is likely to foster perceived superiority (that is, in-group glorification; relative to other religious groups and thus reinforce the centrality of that group membership to the self-concept (Roccas, Klar, and Liviatan, 2006; Haslam et al., 2009). Although such feelings of superiority are likely to have adverse effects on religious…show more content…
Thus, additional coping resources, including “spiritual support seeking” perhaps reflecting inclinations to resist passive tactics in an effort to resolve stressful experiences, may account for the positive outcomes enjoyed by highly identified religious individuals (Pargament, 2002). Others suggest that religiousness, in general, offers a global meaning system the benefits of which are apt to be marked among individuals whose religious group membership and the beliefs therein are central to their self-concept (Park,
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