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Your Own Personal Jesus? Doctrinal Beliefs versus Personal Spirituality Among Inmates Involved in the Monastery Route in Swedish Prisons
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.
2019 (English)In: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, ISSN 0021-8294, E-ISSN 1468-5906, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 192-209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous studies, mainly from the United States, have indicated that religious beliefs can help inmates to cope with imprisonment and to build hopes for the future. The purpose of this study was to examine if this is the case also in Sweden, which is usually considered to be one of the most secular countries in the world. The data consist of semistructured interviews with 14 prisoners participating in the so‚Äźcalled Monastery Route activities within Swedish prisons. Although the activities are based on Christianity, the explicit aim is to invite individuals from all religions, as well as those with an open attitude toward spirituality. How do the inmates formulate their beliefs (if any) along the lines of doctrinal religiousness and personal spirituality, respectively? And, how does this orientation affect the ability to cope with imprisonment, as well as the views of the future? The results show that a small number of the participants defined themselves as Christian, but that the majority had instead developed a more personal form of spirituality. This provided them with a means of working with themselves and gave them a sense of inner calm. The study's findings are contrasted against conflicting results from the United States.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 58, no 1, p. 192-209
Keywords [en]
religiousness, spirituality, retreat activities, imprisonment
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164420DOI: 10.1111/jssr.12579ISI: 000461585600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-164420DiVA, id: diva2:1279198
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Alm, SusanneRoxell, Lena
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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