uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Clergy Existence Challenged: An Existential Psychological Exploration of Meaning-Making and Burnout Related to the Church of Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Psychology of Religions.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study explores the prevalence of stress-related burnout among clergy in the Church of Sweden in the current postmodern context. The study focuses on the seriousness of the problem and the role of burnout’s existential dimension. It involves an existential psychological approach in relation to clergy health, connecting to the area of meaning-making and existential health in psychology of religion. A mixed-method design has been used. The study’s first phase has included survey questionnaires related to the work environment of the parish priest, and a self-appraisal burnout measure. Lay members of parish councils have received a shorter questionnaire emphasizing expectations of the clergy. The second phase has included a second burnout measure and semi-structured reflective interviews with parish priests. A method for interpreting lived experience has been used Results indicate a strong connection between vocational doubt and emotional exhaustion, including items with existential themes. A particularly important category of items related to the experience of meaning has been found to have a significant relationship with questions concerning vocational doubt. The laity’s understanding of clergy identity is clearly dominated by managerial categories. It appears that the understanding and role of the minister is insufficiently distinctive. Reactions among the clergy express concern about the level of stress and the absence of dialogue and response. A strong connection between vocational doubt and emotional exhaustion points to void and lethargy. Relations between emotional exhaustion and responses relating to meaninglessness, career choice, and isolation have proven statistically significant. Existential themes related to risk areas and job resources have emerged. Results point to the need for pre-emptive measures in the parish context involving both laity and priests. A Clergy Relational Model of Burnout and Existential Quest is offered for studying mixed samples of parish priests and laity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2009. , 230 p.
Psychologia et sociologia religionum, ISSN 0283-149X ; 22
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Psychology of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-89331ISBN: 978-91-554-7435-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-89331DiVA: diva2:160134
Public defence
2009-03-20, Universitetshuset Sal IV, Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, 14:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-02-26 Created: 2009-02-12 Last updated: 2016-03-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text
Buy this publication >>

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Belfrage, Lennart
By organisation
Psychology of Religions
Religious Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1817 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link