Christian Faith and Thanataphobia

Volume 3
Summer 1975
Christian Faith and Thanataphobia

The problem of whether Christian faith increases or decreases thanataphobia (fear of death or anxiety regarding it) was investigated. A field survey of 248 undergraduate college students from four colleges in Orange County, California using the Boyar Fear of Death Scale demonstrated significantly less fear of death in the Christian group as compared to a non-Christian group. A Christian was defined as a person who knew he had been "born-again" by God's Spirit and would thus have a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Over half of the non-Christian group considered themselves to be Christians but didn't know they were "born again" Christians. While past research showed a contradictory picture as to the effect of religious faith, a major contribution of this study is that generalized religious faith is reduced to more specifically Christian faith emphasizing spiritual rebirth and resulting divine relationship spoken of by Jesus in John 3:3. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Dr. L.J. Cerny
202 - 209
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