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While considerable progress has been made in creating new spiritual information on the science and practice of gratitude, the scientific study of gratitude to God (GTG) has been virtually ignored, despite the fact that gratitude is at the core of religious ritual and belief systems. At the same time, theological approaches to gratitude have tended to focus on divine action rather than the human response. The centerpiece of Phase 2 is a Request for Proposals (RFPs) that will fund empirical and nonempirical projects on the nature of GTG. Our goal is to employ conceptual and empirical methods to investigate the nature of GTG and to grasp its differences and relations to interhuman gratitude. We seek to support, catalyze, and disseminate innovative ideas in the study of gratitude to God in psychology, theology, and philosophy and in so doing, address a significant omission in the existing scholarship on gratitude, virtually all of it focused on interhuman expressions.
The main components of the project are:
1. Four large-scale RFPs for both empirical and nonempirical researchers. This is the central component of the overall project. The project will include a multidisciplinary advisory board spanning the behavioral sciences, philosophy, theology and religious studies.
2. A launch conference for project participants that will bring the empirical and conceptual components together in the format of a collaborative workshop in the first year of the project period.
3. A capstone conference near the conclusion of the project that would involve all project participants.
4. An empirical research project of a comparison of gratitude to God (GTG) with gratitude to humans (GTH) involving collaborations between Baylor University, Biola University, and the University of California, Davis.
5. A trade book on gratitude to God intended for a general audience.
6. At least two special issues of professional journals on the topic of gratitude to God.