Religion, Psychology, and Science: Steps Toward a Wider Psychology of Religion

Volume
Volume 7
Issue
Spring 1979
Title
Religion, Psychology, and Science: Steps Toward a Wider Psychology of Religion
Abstract

The psychology of religion historically has defined itself with great difficulty, and general psychologists have been reluctant to investigate religious phenomena. General or introductory psychology textbooks, which play a "€œgate-keeping"€ role for the discipline of psychology, typically disregard any systematic study of the psychology of religion, as is shown in a small, informal sample of these textbooks. The problem of definition not only plagues the psychology of religion because religion is so elusive a phenomenon; it also exists in mainstream psychology, where a clear definition of the field has been controversial since the formal beginnings of the discipline in the late nineteenth century. It is suggested that the problem of definition in both religion and psychology can be traced to the endemic definition of science. In psychology, science is often narrowly defined and aligned exclusively with experimental methodology. Introductory textbooks are strong in their implications of this narrow view of science, often to the point of dismissing or diminishing religious ways of knowing. A clearer definition that recognizes and acknowledges that scientific knowing is a second-order abstraction from the primary reality of human personal experience.

Author
A.R. Andrews
Pages
31 - 38
Price
Add to Cart $5.00