, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 317-328

Religion, Health, and the Psychology of Religion: How the Research on Religion and Health Helps Us Understand Religion

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An increasing replication of studies find a correlation between religious belief and practice and mental and physical health and longevity. This paper discusses some of the implications of this research for the ways in which religion might understood psychologically. Most interpretations of this data focus on the presence of one or more mediating variables. This paper argues that the presence of these mediating factors helps us understand more precisely some of the ways in which religion actually does impact on human life and in what the psychological uniqueness of religion actually consists.