Psychological Studies

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 140–152 | Cite as

Indian Spirituality: How Relevant is Pargament’s Framework?

  • Doug Oman
  • Anand C. Paranjpe
Review Article


The psychology of religion and spirituality is a topic of increasing interest in India as well as in the West. An internationally influential framework for defining religion and spirituality has been developed by US psychologist Kenneth Pargament, who conceptualizes spirituality and religion as search processes related to sacred realities. Pargament’s framework has been found to resonate across multiple cultures and has guided and informed empirical research in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim populations. The present paper argues that Pargament’s framework can also coherently resonate with Hinduism and other indigenous Indian religious beliefs and practices. We conclude that future studies of religion and spirituality in Indian contexts may benefit by framing their investigations with reference to Pargament’s approach. Such framing need not be uncritical and would help bring Indian psychology of spirituality/religion in closer contact with psychology of spirituality/religion in other parts of the world, benefiting both India and the worldwide psychology of religion and spirituality.


Indian psychology Religion Spirituality Sacred Sanctification Hinduism 


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.CoquitlamCanada

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