Does Knowledge of Science and World Religions Lead to Representations of God as Transcendent (ASUF 30006287) Does Knowledge of Science and World Religions Lead to Representations of God as Transcendent? Do exposure to science and the panoply of religious beliefs around the world undermine ones faith in God? Or can such information lead individuals to be awed by the vastness of the universe and humbled by the relative smallness of the self? Do awe and humility, in turn, actually inspire a greater appreciation of the vast and infinite attributes of a Transcendent God? Are there other abstract representations of God that warrant attention in future research? In five studies, we propose to: (1) develop a measure of representations of God as Transcendent; (2) use priming and a reaction time task to differentiate between three hypothesized dimensions of abstract God representations: Transcendent, Ineffable, and Life Force; (3) test a developmental model of Transcendent God representations, hypothesizing that awe mediates the relation between exposure to science/world religions and self-transcendence; that humility amplifies this effect; and that self-transcendence leads to Transcendent God representations; and (4) using both experimental and (5) quasi-experimental designs, assess the effects of exposure to science and world religions on changes in representations of God as Transcendent among undergraduates on two university campuses. The proposed research will lend support to Sir Johns hypothesis that exposure to science or the teachings of other religious traditions can inspire representations of God as Transcendent, especially for those who are humble and will also contribute to our understanding of abstract representations of God. We plan to communicate our findings to scientists, clergy, and the laity. Ultimately, we hope that through the proposed research people will be moved to broaden their representations of God, by considering the more abstract and transcendent attributes of Gods divine nature, which is evident from the intricate workings of a single cell, the vastness of the universe, the majestic history of the earth, and the staggering complexity of world religions.
|Effective start/end date||8/15/14 → 2/14/17|
- John Templeton Foundation: $264,904.00
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