Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 1018–1031

Reactions and Strategies of German Catholic Priests to Cope with Phases of Spiritual Dryness

  • Arndt Büssing
  • Jochen Sautermeister
  • Eckhard Frick
  • Klaus Baumann
Original Paper


We investigated strategies of 763 Catholic priests (response rate 36%) to deal with phases of spiritual dryness, specifically their reactions toward these feelings, and which strategies were used. Most priests have found strategies to cope with feelings of spiritual dryness. Those who have managed to overcome these phases were stimulated “all the more to help others” and experienced “deeper spiritual clarity and depth.” Whatever strategy was chosen (we differentiated eight strategies in various combinations), there were no significant differences for priests’ self-efficacy expectation, transcendence perception or life satisfaction. Instead, we found significant differences for social support (F = 6.5; p < 0.0001) and somatization (F = 3.4; p = 0.002).


Spiritual dryness Strategies Coping Catholic priests Life satisfaction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Integrative Medicine, Faculty of HealthWitten/Herdecke UniversityHerdeckeGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of TheologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department of Anthropological PsychologySchool of PhilosophyMunichGermany
  4. 4.Research Centre Spiritual Care, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  5. 5.Faculty of TheologyAlbert-Ludwig UniversityFreiburgGermany

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