cultivating spiritual health with research-based ideas

Ancestry of ideas

Ideas are not created in a vacuum, and this is definitely the case for Science of Connectedness. While the ideas feel like my own based on years of research, education, and personal experience, some were originally adapted from the work of other researchers, and I want to provide appropriate credit.

The idea of “Connectedness” was inspired by social work researcher, Brené Brown, who wrote, “After fifteen years of social work education, I was sure of one thing: Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” You can check out Brown’s book, Daring Greatlyto read more. 

The Four Relationships are based on the four domains used in a psychometric tool that measures spiritual health, which was created by Dr. John Fisher et al. (2000). The way he describes it, these four domains were originally proposed by the National Interfaith Coalition on Aging (1975). If you are looking to measure spiritual health in a research setting, I highly recommend Dr. Fisher’s updated measure, called the SHALOM.

The original version of my definitionwhich combines Connectedness with the four domains for the first timewas created and published while collaborating with Dr. Mark Holder, a positive psychologist at the University of British Columbia. 

My definition was revised and updated in my Master of Divinity thesis under the supervision of Professor Emily Click and doctoral student Cassie Houtz at Harvard Divinity School

Furthermore, I have come to understand the broad applicability of my ideas through conversation with many people in my life, including my parents, grandparents, husband, and my close friend, Daniella Crocker.

Oh, and the idea of an “ancestry of ideas” came through a conversation with my friend, Angie Thurston, who co-wrote How We Gather.

Thank you to all of these people and organizations for forming the foundation and ancestry of Science of Connectedness!