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  • © 2017

Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America

Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory

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  • Is the first book to explain how religious beliefs affect the mental health of ordinary people

  • Is unique in tracing the evolutionary origins of psychiatric symptoms

  • Includes simple schematic drawings of the brain, and extensive graphs illustrating research findings on religious beliefs and mental health

Part of the book series: Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach (RELSPHE, volume 1)

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USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-52488-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (31 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    • Kevin J. Flannelly
    Pages 1-8
  3. The Origin of Evolutionary Ideas in Historical and Religious Context

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 9-9
    2. The Reformation and The Enlightenment

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 19-27
  4. Charles Darwin’s Theories of Evolution and Reactions to Them

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 39-39
    2. Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 41-48
    3. Reactions to Darwin’s Origin of Species

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 49-54
    4. Reactions to The Expression of Emotions

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 61-67
  5. Evolutionary Psychiatry

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 69-69
    2. Brain Evolution and Emotions

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 71-78
    3. Fear in the Animal and Human Brain

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 79-90
    4. Anxiety Disorders as Evolutionary Adaptations

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 91-101
    5. Beliefs and Psychiatric Symptoms

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 113-124
    6. Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory

      • Kevin J. Flannelly
      Pages 125-140
  6. Religious Beliefs and Mental Health

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 141-141

About this book

This book provides a new perspective on the association between religious beliefs and mental health. The book is divided into five parts, the first of which traces the development of theories of organic evolution in the cultural and religious context before Charles Darwin. Part II describes the major evolutionary theories that Darwin proposed in his three books on evolution, and the religious, sociological, and scientific reactions to his theories. Part III introduces the reader to the concept of evolutionary psychiatry. It discusses how different regions of the brain evolved over time, and explains that certain brain regions evolved to protect us from danger by assessing threats of harm in the environment, including other humans. Specifically, this part describes: how psychiatric symptoms that are commonly experienced by normal individuals during their everyday lives are the product of brain mechanisms that evolved to protect us from harm; the prevalence rate of psychiatric symptoms in the U.S. general population; how religious and other beliefs influence the brain mechanisms that underlie psychiatric symptoms; and the brain regions that are involved in different psychiatric disorders. Part IV presents the findings of U.S. studies demonstrating that positive beliefs about God and life-after-death, and belief in meaning-in-life and divine forgiveness have salutary associations with mental health, whereas negative beliefs about God and life-after-death, belief in the Devil and human evil, and doubts about one’s religious beliefs have pernicious associations with mental health. The last part of the book summarizes each section and recommends research on the brain mechanism underlying psychiatric symptoms, and the relationships among these brain mechanisms, religious beliefs, and mental health in the context of ETAS Theory.

Keywords

  • Beliefs and Mental Health
  • Darwinian Psychiatry
  • Evolutionary Psychiatry
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Religion in America
  • Religious Beliefs
  • Religion and Mental Health
  • Religion and Health
  • Spirituality and Mental Health
  • Spirituality and Health

Reviews

“Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America is both timely and overdue. … the book offers researchers a well-scripted path for advancing the study of religious beliefs and mental health as well as investigating the biological and psychological mechanisms that may underly these relationships.” (Andrea k. Henderson, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 57 (03), 2018)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Center for Psychosocial Research, Massapequa, USA

    Kevin J. Flannelly

About the author

Dr. Kevin J. Flannelly received his Ph.D. in physiological and comparative psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his M.S. in psychobiology from Rutgers University. He has conducted research on a wide range of topics in sociology, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology, and clinical, cognitive, comparative, developmental, and physiological psychology, as well as various areas of healthcare. Over the past 40 years, he has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles and numerous other articles and book chapters. He became interested in the relationship between religion and physical and mental health in 1995, and he has published almost 90 peer-reviewed articles in the field of religion and health. Dr. Flannelly published his first study exploring the connection between religious beliefs and mental health in 2004 and he published his first theoretical model about the mechanisms by which beliefs affect mental health in a 2006 article in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, titled “Beliefs, Mental Health, and Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems in the Brain.” In all, he has published a score of empirical and theoretical articles on the relationship between religious beliefs and mental health.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-52488-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)