Cross-Cultural Comparison of Religious Coping Methods Reported by Native Guatemalan and Kenyan Faith-Based Relief Providers

Volume
Volume 39
Issue
Fall 2011
Title
Cross-Cultural Comparison of Religious Coping Methods Reported by Native Guatemalan and Kenyan Faith-Based Relief Providers
Abstract

Guatemala and Kenya are both countries that have recently experienced political violence in the context of long histories of colonialization, oppression and poverty. The current study examines focus group responses of indigenous faith-based relief providers in Guatemala and Kenya describing how they utilized religion to cope with their own experience of political violence as well as to cope with stress related to providing relief services to others. In an effort to study both emic and etic dimensions of religious coping, the study also analyzes these responses within the framework of Pargament and colleagues’ (1998; 2000) religious coping constructs to determine responses that are consistent with findings across other cultures (etic) and to identify and describe responses that are culturally specific to Guatemala and Kenya (emic). Guatemalan and Kenyan themes consistent with North American literature were: Religious Helping, Seeking Spiritual Support, Benevolent Religious Reappraisal, Spiritual Connections and Collaborative Religious Coping. Themes unique to Guatemala and Kenya included Acceptance and Engagement of Suffering, Cosmic Balance, Living Better, Prayer, Human Responsibility, Communal Spiritual Traditions, and Finding Solidarity Through Shared Experience. Finally, this article examines emic and etic responses within the context of literature on African and Central American theologies.

Authors
Dr. K.M. Putnam, Dr. J. Lea and Dr. C.B. Ericksson
Pages
233 - 243
Price
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