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Aims and scope

Pastoral Psychology, founded in 1950, is one of the most well-established and respected journals in the field of psychology and religion/spirituality. Pastoral Psychology is an international forum that publishes scholarly, peer-reviewed original articles that address varied aspects of religion and spirituality from physical, human science, and interfaith perspectives.

Historically, the word “pastoral” has referred to the care of individuals, families, and communities. Today, we additionally consider “pastoral” in terms of lived experience as it relates to embodiment, the social-political, economic, spiritual, and environmental dimensions of life.

All theoretical perspectives are welcome, as Pastoral Psychology regularly publishes articles from a variety of schools of thought, including, but not limited to, psychoanalytic and other dynamic  psychologies, cognitive  psychologies, experimental and empirical psychologies, humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, and cultural psychology. Insights from existential perspectives, intersectional theories, philosophical and theological theories, gender and queer studies, sociology, anthropology, public mental health, and cultural and empirical studies are welcome. Theoretical contributions that have direct or indirect relevance for practice, broadly construed, are especially desirable, as our intended audience includes not only academics and scholars in religion and science, but also religious and spiritual leaders, as well as caregivers, chaplains, social workers, counselors/therapists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and persons interested in matters of religion/spirituality and psychology.

Pastoral Psychology welcomes scholarship and reflection from all religious and spiritual traditions. In addition to scholarly research papers, the journal welcomes thoughtful essays on a wide range of issues and various genres of writing, including book reviews and film reviews. The community of scholars represented in its pages has demonstrated that the life challenges the journal seeks to address are universally shared, yet also reflect individual social, cultural, and religious locations. The journal, therefore, welcomes submissions from scholars from around the world.