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The general papers in Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 29 cover a range of topics including psychological type, prayer, nature and well-being, psychobiography, coping with addiction, and the role of place in spirituality. The first special section on congregational studies draws on a range of large datasets from the National Church Life Surveys in Australia. Papers examine the factors that predict individual sense of belonging in Catholic parishes as well as congregational-level aspects of vitality, collective confidence, and innovativeness. The second special section examines the Ideological Surround Model and how it can help to better understand expressions of faith related to psychological constructs such as mindfulness, fundamentalism, and the ‘Dark Triad’ of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy.
In The Origins of Collective Decision Making, Andy Blunden identifies three paradigms of collective decision making – Counsel, Majority and Consensus, discovers their origins in traditional, medieval and modern times, and traces their evolution over centuries up to the present. The study reveals that these three paradigms have an ethical foundation, deeply rooted in historical experiences. The narrative takes the reader into the very moments when individual leaders and organisers made the crucial developments in white heat of critical moments in history, such as the English Revolution of the 1640s, the Chartist Movement of the 1840s and the early Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. This history provides a valuable resource for resolving current social movement conflict over decision making.