Suicide and religion: New evidence on the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism.

Suicide has remained a persistent social phenomenon and now accounts for more deaths than motor vehicle accidents. There has been much debate, however, over which religious constructs might best explain the variation in suicide rates. Our empirical analysis reveals that even though theological and social differences between Catholicism and Protestantism have decreased, Catholics are still […]

Customs and Traditions in Times of Death and Bereavement (3rd Edition)

This booklet provides general information on bereavement & funeral customs in different religions & cultures, including: the Blackfoot Confederacy, Buddhism, China, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Eastern Orthodox, Hinduism, Hutterite, Muslim, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Mennonite, Protestant, Roman Catholic, & Sikhism. A glossary defines a number of terms associated with bereavement & funerals.

Social Stress, Homicide, and Suicide

A social stress index for American states in 1980 did not add to the predictability of state suicide rates over that obtained from previously identified factors of social characteristics but did so for homicide rates. (2 refs.)

Catholicism and Indices of Social Pathology in the States

Immolations and Consensus: the Justification of Innocence


The Arguments for Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Catholic Response

In the present essay, the author analyzes the arguments in favor of euthanasia & physician-assisted suicide & considers a critical response from the Catholic Christian perspective for each of them. (42 refs)

Religiosity and Suicide

In a data set for nations of the world in 1980, the author found that suicide rates, but not homicide rates, were associated with the percentages of Muslims & Roman Catholics, but use of statistical controls for economic development eliminated the associations. (2 refs)

Catholic Religion and Suicide: the Mediating Effect of Divorce

The effects of religion & divorce on suicide rates are examined for metropolitan areas in 1980. The authors find that the role of Catholic church membership has both direct & indirect effects on suicide rates; the indirect effects are mediated through the divorce rate. In contrast, argue the authors, Protestant church membership is not related […]

Suicide is Most Misunderstood of all Deaths

This article examines a common misunderstanding that suicide is voluntary because it is self inflicted, in a way that death through physical illness or accidents are not. The author compares suicide to emotional physical illness or emotional fatality. The article also mentions that a person who has died of suicide did not leave the world […]

Violent Versus Nonviolent Methods for Suicide

Research suggests that different theories of suicide may be necessary when studying suicides that occur through either violent or non-violent methods. This article explores if different correlates of suicide by method might be found in sociological studies of suicide in the United States. The correlates that were studied were: age, location, social integration, religion, & […]

Roman Catholicism as a Determinant of the Regional Variation in Suicide Rates

This article presented studies that explored the suicide rates of nations with high percentages of religious followers. Results indicated that Islamic nations had low suicide rates, while the proportion of Roman Catholics/Protestants appeared to be unrelated to suicide rates. The author questions the choice of nations used in these studies & suggests that individuals, rather […]

Suffering, Ethics, and the Body of Christ: Anointing as a Strategic Alternative Practice

This article provides an alternative religious viewpoint on suffering & pain. The article contrasts the aim of biomedical ethics, which is often to stop pain, to a religious view that pain can bring an understanding of the suffering of Christ. The article points to assisted suicide as the best example of the biomedical ethics perspective […]

Sociology’s one law: Religion and Suicide in the Urban Context

Durkheim’s assertion that Catholicism has a negative impact on suicide, often referred to as sociology’s “one law,” has been seriously challenged in recent years. This paper re-examines the “one law” in relation to Durkheim’s observation that the greatest potential for individuals to be integrated into society is found in urban areas. Using 3, 108 United […]

Evangelium Vitae, Euthanasia, and Physician-Assisted Suicide: John Paul II’s Dialogue…(IN: Choosing Life, edited by K M Wildes and A C Mitchell)

See SIEC #2002-1204 & 2002-1205 for responses to this article

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: a Response to Edmund Pellegrino (IN: Choosing Life, edited by K M Wildes and A C Mitchell)

See SIEC #2002-1203 for the article by E Pellegrino, & 2002-1204 for a related response.

The Sociological Study of Suicidal Ideation: an Ecological Study

An ecological study of suicidal ideation in the states of America in the 1980s revealed that suicidal ideation in the past years was more common in states where an index of social disintegration was higher and where an index of Roman Catholicism was lower. This study suggests that sociological studies of nonfatal suicidal behaviours may […]

Bereavement Intervention: Immediate Response

When a Grave Illness or Death Touches the School Community

Factors Affecting the Unacceptability of Suicide and the Effects of Evaluator Depression and Religiosity

Study results reported in this article indicate that the unacceptability of suicide is a function of the precipitating illness & gender of the victim as well as a function of an evaluator’s mood state, & religiosity. Complex interactions among these variables were found, suggesting the complexity of decisions regarding the unacceptability of suicide. This study […]

Social Correlates of the Percentage of Suicides and Homicides Employing Firearms

This study showed that the percentage of suicides using firearms was positively associated with factor scores for social disintegration, southernness, Roman Catholicism, urban residence or wealth, & age. The percentage of homicides employing firearms was associated with scores for southernness, Roman Catholicism, & urban residence or wealth.

The Heart of the Matter (IN: On Suicide: Great Writers on the Ultimate Question, edited by J Miller)

An excerpt from the novel “The Heart of the Matter” with a discussion about the author, British novelist Graham Greene. His characters usually tread the thin line between good & evil, often struggling against their own dark selves. Greene himself seems to have been drawn to suicide until he converted to Catholicism at age 21.

Donne’s Biathanatos (IN: On Suicide: Great Writers on the Ultimate Question, edited by J Miller)

Donne’s Biathanatos is discussed; to sum it up, it states that as not every murderer is an assassin, not every self-murderer is guilty of motal sin. Donne discusses voluntary deaths in the Scriptures, such as Samson’s (“Let me die with the Philistines”) and Jesus’. The purpose of this work is to palliate suicide, as even […]

The Effects of Marital Dissolution on Suicide: the Canadian Case (Discussion Paper No. 42)

This study replicates the analysis of Stack (1980) on the relationship between state variation in divorce & the suicide rate. Using Canadian data, it is hypothesized that a higher provincial rate of divorce is related to a higher provincial suicide rate. Using provincial data for 1971 & 1978, support was found for the hypothesis. Controlling […]