Reflecting the Gendered God: Analyzing the Difference in Self-Esteem and Well-Being Between Individuals in Churches that use Non-Inclusive Gender Images for God and Churches that use Gender Inclusive Images for God Open Access

Miller, Rachel Marie (2013)

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The self is uniquely and intricately influenced by the individual's images of God. Religious institutions and practices, in turn, have immense impact on how people imagine God. This study asks the following question: Do masculine images of God and male language in religious practice affect the self-concept of the women and men who take part in those religious practices? This study took seriously the arguments of Mary Daly and used the insights of Ana-Maria Rizzuto. The results showed that men in the churches that used non-inclusive gender images for God had higher self-esteem and well-being than the men who attended the churches that used inclusive gender images for God. The researcher concluded that there is a relationship between God-Image, Self-Esteem and Well-Being and further, that being given participation with the Divine in speech and image does affect the Self-Esteem and Well-Being of the individual.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
I. Introduction...3
II. God-Image in Psychology...7
III. Self-Esteem and Well-Being...15

1. Self-Esteem and the Self...15
2. Well-Being and the Self...19

IV. Feminist Theology on God-Image and Self-Esteem...23
V. Research Method...28
VI. Results...38
VII. Discussion...48
VIII. Conclusion...55

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