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Bereavement and spiritual change.

Authors
  • Balk, D E
Type
Published Article
Journal
Death studies
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1999
Volume
23
Issue
6
Pages
485–493
Identifiers
PMID: 10558610
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The thesis of this article is that bereavement is a life crisis that challenges one's assumptions about human existence and provides the grounds for spiritual change. Construing a new understanding of the meaning of human existence and revising assumptions about one's place in the universe is a singular form that indicates spiritual change at work. Three aspects must be present for a life crisis to produce spiritual change: The situation must create a psychological imbalance or disequilibrium that resists readily being stabilized; there must be time for reflection; and the person's life must forever afterwards be colored by the crisis. The premise of this article links spiritual change to what J.W. Fowler (1981) termed transformed faith consciousness and argues that the dual process model of coping with loss (M.S. Stroebe & H. Schut, 1995; M.S. Stroebe, H. Schut, & W.A. Stroebe, 1995; M.S. Stroebe, H. Schut, & J. Van Den Bout, 1994) provides a means to understand how dealing with grief can evoke spiritual change. Some brief case examples are used to examine the thesis that bereavement triggers spiritual change.

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