Title: Relationship between Transcendence and well-being: a cognitive theological analysis’
Researcher: Monir Ahmed, Postgraduate Research Student, University of Durham
Supervisors: Professor Simon Dein & Professor Gerard P. Loughlin
The current research entitled ‘Relationship between Transcendence and well-being: a cognitive theological analysis’ aims at exploring Transcendence and well-being in the light of theological understanding and psychological principle. ‘Transcendence’ is concerned with the perception that there is something which appears unknown, undiscovered which lies outside of our everyday lives and usually beyond our general understanding (Pargament 2011, p. 39). Transcendence, thus, involves our relationship with something that is ‘out of the ordinary’ which often could appear as mystical, supernatural; it is an ability to view our relationship outside of our physical existence, the Higher Power i.e. God, Allah, HaShem. Transcendence, therefore, is not about whether we believe in Higher Power or not but whether we can relate ourselves beyond our physical existence and if so to what extent. Piedmont well describes this as ‘a fundamental capacity of the individual, a source of intrinsic motivation that drives, directs, and selects behaviours’ (Piedmont 1999, p.988). Research suggests that self-transcendence is significantly related to patients’ spiritual well-being i.e. there is a positive, direct relationship between psychological well-being and transcendence experience (Haugan et al. 2014). The relationship between mental health and transcendence is significant in our day to day living in the changing world. However, it is a complicated process that needs exploration in a greater detail involving the theological understanding of the creation as a whole i.e. ‘Doctrine of Creation’ including human faith, beliefs and psychological theories and principles that underpin well-being. The ultimate purpose of this research is to establish that the relationship between mental health and theological/religious knowledge, understanding is unavoidable.
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