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Religious Involvement And Religious Struggles

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Chapter Summary

Several literature reviews and meta-analyses provide convincing evidence that religious involvement - indicated by observable feelings, beliefs, activities (most typically), and experiences in relation to spiritual, divine, or supernatural entities - is associated with lower mortality risk. The basic association between religious involvement and longevity is well established; however, theoretical and empirical explanations for these patterns are not. Even less is known about how religious struggles might increase mortality risk. This chapter proposes and develops two theoretical models. The first model explains why religious involvement should favor longevity. The second model accounts for why religious struggles might increase mortality risk. The chapter discusses viable avenues for future research. Finally, it emphasizes seminal research articles, recent studies, and notable reviews of empirical evidence.

Keywords: longevity; mortality risk; religious involvement; religious struggles



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