Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Angry at God? If so, you're not alone, says CWRU psychologist

03.01.2011
The notion of being angry with God goes back to ancient days. Such personal struggles are not new, but Case Western Reserve University psychologist Julie Exline began looking at "anger at God" in a new way.

"Many people experience anger toward God," Exline explains. "Even people who deeply love and respect God can become angry. Just as people become upset or angry with others, including loved ones, they can also become angry with God."

Exline, an associate professor in Case Western Reserve's College of Arts and Sciences, has researched anger toward God over the past decade, conducting studies with hundreds of people, including college students, cancer survivors and grief-stricken family members.

She and her colleagues report their results in the article, "Anger toward God: Social-Cognitive Predictors, Prevalence, and Links with Adjustment to Bereavement and Cancer" in the new issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Anger toward God often coincides with deaths, illnesses, accidents or natural disasters. Yet anger is not limited to traumatic situations. It can also surface when people experience personal disappointments, failures, or interpersonal hurts. Some people see God as ultimately responsible for such events, and they become angry when they see God's intentions as cruel or uncaring. They might think that God abandoned, betrayed, or mistreated them, Exline says.

Exline notes that it can be difficult for people to acknowledge their anger toward God. Many people are ashamed and don't want to admit their feelings, she says. In particular, people who are highly religious may believe that they should focus only on the positive side of religious life.

"But religion and spirituality are like other domains of life, such as work and relationships," Exline says. "They bring important benefits, but they can bring difficulties as well. Anger with God is one of those struggles," she adds.

According to Exline's findings, Protestants, African Americans, and older people tend to report less anger at God; people who do not believe in God may still harbor anger; and anger toward God is most distressing when it is frequent, intense, or chronic.

Overcoming anger at God, she says, may require some of the same steps needed to resolve other anger issues.

"People may benefit from reflecting more closely on the situation and how they see God's role in it," Exline suggests. "For example, they may become less angry if they decide that God was not actually responsible for the upsetting event, or if they can see how God has brought some meaning or benefit from a painful situation."

People who feel angry toward God also need to be reassured that they are not alone. Many individuals experience such struggles, she adds. She suggests that people try to be open and honest with God about their anger, rather than pulling away or trying to cover up their negative feelings.

Readers who would like to participate in an online study of anger toward God can go to this web address: http://psychology.case.edu/research/god/index.html

Exline, a noted expert in forgiveness issues, is a licensed psychologist and a spiritual director trained by the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University.

Co-investigators on the article are: Crystal L. Park from the University of Connecticut and Joshua M. Smyth and Michael P. Carey from Syracuse University.

Click on the link below to download a brief sound bite from Julie Exline: http://rcpt.yousendit.com/982620135/36fe287c8ebc259bb66c436359255397

For a broadcast-quality version of this sound bite without graphics, contact Mary Gerity at mary.gerity@case.edu. To set up an interview, contact Susan Griffith at susan.griffith@case.edu.

Susan Griffith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.case.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>