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Exploring the role of religion and spirituality in the development of purpose: Case studies of purposeful youth

Publication Authors: 
Kirsi Tirri and Brandy Quinn
Publication Year: 
Publication Journal: 
British Journal of Religious Education 32(3) 201-214. DOI: 10.1080/13598139.2010.525342

This study investigated the role of spirituality and religion in supporting purpose during adolescence. Two case studies of adolescents who were coded as purposeful in the religious and/or spiritual domain as part of a larger study at the Stanford Centre on Adolescence were analysed and discussed. The results showed religion and spirituality as overlapping domains with authenticity to self as expressed though spirituality as a distinguishing factor between the two cases. Authenticity fosters one of the key elements of purpose – meaningfulness to the self – but only if done with equal attention to the world beyond the self.

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