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'Heaven starts at your parents' feet' : adolescent bowing to parents and associated spiritual attitudes

By Phra Nicholas Thanissaro

Abstract

In a quantitative survey of religious attitudes and practices in a multi-religious sample of\ud 369 school pupils aged between 13 and 15 in London, the practice of bowing to parents was\ud found widespread in 22% of adolescents spanning several religious affiliations and\ud ethnicities – especially Buddhists, Hindus and those of Indian, African and ‘Other Asian’\ud ethnicity. Whether an adolescent bowed correlated significantly with spiritual attitudes such\ud as wanting to abstain from alcohol, hearing religious stories, being inspired by religious\ud festivals and liking the idea of seeing God in everything. Findings suggest bowing to\ud parents can have religious significance on all three levels of Jackson’s Interpretive\ud Approach and therefore cannot be regarded as a ‘cultural accretion’ of religion. Study of\ud bowing to parents could form a unifying exercise in shared values for study of religion in\ud the plural classroom and facilitate community cohesion in certain religious membership\ud groups

Topics: BL
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3691

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