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In a cross-sectional survey among 626 Adventists, we investigated their perception of spiritual dryness, and its association with indicators of Acedia, well-being and emotional exhaustion. Women, younger persons and those without a specific duty within the church had significantly higher spiritual dryness scores. Spiritual dryness was predicted best by perceived Excessive Spiritual Demands (indicating spiritual exhaustion) and low perception of the sacred. Further predictors are Acedia’s Difficulties in Prayer Life, reduced well-being and emotional exhaustion. The underlying causes might be complex and thus to support persons experiencing these phases, a thorough differentiation of the underlying ‘spirits’ is required.

Arndt Büssing,Lorethy Starck,Klaus van Treeck in Journal of Religion and Health (2020)

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In Adventists (n = 603) 45% were less effective and 55% more effective in coping with phases of spiritual dryness, particularly those with leading roles in the church. Strategies such as devotion/trust in God, private prayer/meditation/scripture reading, openness, talks with close others, and self-care were most often utilized. Their ability to cope was predicted best by low Acedia, Living from the Faith, low emotional exhaustion, well-being and having a duty in the church (R2 = .24). When these phases were overcome, several perceived spiritual depth and were able to help others all the more. Helpful strategies should be made available to support persons struggling with spiritual dryness.

Arndt Büssing,Lorethy Starck,Klaus van Treeck in Journal of Religion and Health (2020)

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