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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How Adults Use the Symbol “God” as a Locus of Meaning
by Wood, Judith, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2016, 257; 10750356
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore the way in which the concept of “God” continues to have meaning for adults in a post-modern world, including the way in which their understanding and experience of God may evolve over the course of their lives. In addition, the contributions of several object relations theorists were explored, and results of the research were reviewed to determine whether or not they validated those theories. Of the 14 people interviewed, 8 were included in the final research. These were middle age men and women of different religious backgrounds, who had sufficient life experience to seriously reflect on this topic. Norman Denzin’s method of Interpretive Interactionism was used to determine how turning points, called epiphany moments, affected participants’ understanding and experience of God. Results were drawn from the participants’ earliest memories of God, their problematic experiences with their God, and their attempts to explain who God is in their life experience. The results of this study do validate many aspects of object relations theory, especially demonstrating the malleability of the God-concept in the participants’ creative use of this relationship as they experience it. Needs for further research is also noted.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee:
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social work, American studies, Sociology
Keywords: Adults, Religion, Middle age
Publication Number: 10750356
ISBN: 9798664745979
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