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Jos Pieper


This article examines the similarities and differences between a religious-philosophical approach to contingency and a (religious) psychological approach to coping with health problems. We elaborate on theoretical and empirical developments in research on coping, meaning-focused coping and religious coping. Religious coping is seen as a special form of meaning-focused coping. These coping perspectives are related to Wuchterl’s model for dealing with contingency and an extension of this model, based on Dutch empirical research among cancer patients.

J. Copier, C.A.M. Hermans and T.S.M. van der Zee


This article reports the results of an empirical study into the relationship between school leaders’ experiences of contingency, and how they formulate goals and aims for the future of the children at their schools.

We distinguish between three ways of handling experiences of contingency: contingency denial, contingency acceptance, and contingency receiving. We expect that school leaders who have received new insights in their experiences of contingency (contingency receiving) formulate future aims more often than school leaders who have accepted or denied experiences of contingency. This hypothesis is based on the assumption that both contingency receiving and formulating aims are characterised by transcendental openness and an ethical orientation towards the good life.

The study consisted of qualitative interviews with 24 school leaders of primary schools in the Netherlands. The results confirm the hypothesis, and give insight into the complex relation between personal biography and professional identity in school leadership.

Iris D. Hartog, Michael Scherer-Rath, Tom H. Oreel, Justine E. Netjes, José P.S. Henriques, Jorrit Lemkes, Alexander Vonk, Mirjam A.G. Sprangers, Pythia T. Nieuwkerk and Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven


The theoretical model: ‘Narrative meaning making and integration of life events’ hypothesizes that life events such as falling ill may result in an ‘experience of contingency’. Through narrative meaning making, this experience may be eventually integrated into patients’ life stories, which, in turn, may enhance their quality of life. To contribute to our understanding of this existential dimension of falling ill and to further validate the theoretical model, we examined the relationships among the concepts assessed with the RE-LIFE questionnaire.

Two hypothesized mediation models were assessed using regression-based serial multiple mediation analysis. Model 1, assessing the influence of ‘experience of contingency’ on ‘acknowledging’, was significant and showed partial mediation by indirect influences through ‘negative impact on life goals’ and ‘existential meaning’. Model 2, assessing the influence of ‘experience of contingency’ on ‘quality of life’, was also significant, with a full mediation by the variables ‘negative impact on life goals’, ‘existential meaning’ and ‘acknowledging’. In conclusion, several hypothesized relationships within the theoretical model were confirmed. Narrative meaning making and integration significantly influence people’s self-evaluation of their quality of life.

Religious Films in Zimbabwean Contexts

Film Reception Concerning Representations of Jesus

Adam T. Shreve

This article presents the author’s original research of a reception study of religious films amongst Shona peoples in the Gora and Chikara villages, which are located in the Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. The two central questions of the author’s study are: First, in what ways might pre-existing Shona images of Jesus shape Shona responses to and interpretations of Jesus as he is portrayed in The Jesus Film (1979) and in indigenous, short, Jesus films in Zimbabwe today? Secondly, how might the viewing of these films affect these images of Jesus? This article addresses how indigenous, short Jesus films in Zimbabwe have manifested different representations of Jesus from the pervasive European image of Jesus that is perpetuated by The Jesus Film. This research is particularly relevant to current trends in media and technology, as the indigenous, short Jesus films are being distributed via mobile phones in Zimbabwe.