Christians and Their Behaviors: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effect of Mind-Body Beliefs on Daily Practices
Although the theoretical debate about the relationship between the mind and body has a long history, little research has been conducted to examine whether holding dualistic or monistic beliefs have behavioral ramifications. Contemporary thinkers have argued espousing a dualist anthropology predisposes one to focus on the inward self, and by extension to focus on the physical needs of others less (Brown & Strawn, 2012). In the present study I examined 84 Christian participants to determine whether one’s beliefs about the mind and body impact acts of altruism, acts of evangelism, and subjective sense of purpose in life. Structural equation modeling indicated that low to moderately religious dualists tended to engage in fewer acts of altruism than monists or more highly religious dualists, though highly religious participants, regardless of belief in monism or dualism, tended to engage in similar levels of altruistic and evangelistic behaviors. Interpretations and future directions are then explored.
Strawn, Brad D.
Christian ethics, Attitude, Belief and doubt, Mind and body
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