Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Gustafson

Second Advisor

Judith Gedrose

Third Advisor

Donna Greenwood

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study is to consider the holistic impact and meaning of Christianity in the lives of four World War II veterans and subsequent implications for the author as a graduating professional nurse who anticipates working at a Veteran's Administration hospital. Data were generated through personal interviews and letters between the researcher and the four Christian informants. Ethnography was chosen as the appropriate vehicle for study of a small sub-culture. Findings revealed positive personal perceptions of impact and meaning from Christian faith and practice in the lives of all participants in the areas of health (both physiological and psychological), social relationships, and spirituality; all of which were consistent with the literature review. In conclusion the author supports continued research to broaden the understanding of the phenomenon of the impact of religion in the lives of individuals, and recognizes a need for improved personal understanding of the religion/health relationship.

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