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28.11.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 3/2017

Journal of Religion and Health 3/2017

Reactions and Strategies of German Catholic Priests to Cope with Phases of Spiritual Dryness

Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 3/2017
Arndt Büssing, Jochen Sautermeister, Eckhard Frick, Klaus Baumann


We investigated strategies of 763 Catholic priests (response rate 36%) to deal with phases of spiritual dryness, specifically their reactions toward these feelings, and which strategies were used. Most priests have found strategies to cope with feelings of spiritual dryness. Those who have managed to overcome these phases were stimulated “all the more to help others” and experienced “deeper spiritual clarity and depth.” Whatever strategy was chosen (we differentiated eight strategies in various combinations), there were no significant differences for priests’ self-efficacy expectation, transcendence perception or life satisfaction. Instead, we found significant differences for social support (F = 6.5; p < 0.0001) and somatization (F = 3.4; p = 0.002).

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