A search of the published literature identified 11 empirical studies that reported links between religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth. A review of these 11 studies produced three main findings. First, these studies show that religion and spirituality are usually, although not always, beneficial to people in dealing with the aftermath of trauma. Second, that traumatic experiences can lead to a deepening of religion or spirituality. Third, that positive religious coping, religious openness, readiness to face existential questions, religious participation, and intrinsic religiousness are typically associated with posttraumatic growth. Important directions for future research are suggested that centre on the need for more fine-grained analysis of religion and spirituality variables, together with longitudinal research designs, that allow more detailed exploration of the links between religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth.
Shaw, A., Joseph, S., & Linley, P. A. (2005). Religion, spirituality, and posttraumatic growth: A systematic review. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 8(1), 1-11.