Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Psychology of Religion

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_542-2

Classically defined, the psychology of religion consists of the systematic application of psychology’s methods and interpretive frameworks to the broad domain of religion. As strictly a nonsectarian scholarly discipline, it should be carefully distinguished from “religious psychology,” which is the psychology that in varying degrees is explicit in the texts and teachings of a religious tradition; from “psychology and religion,” a phrase intended to suggest a mutually respectful dialogue between psychological theories and various perspectives in religious studies; from “psychology asreligion,” which designates clinically oriented forms of psychology grounded in “spiritual” conceptions of human existence; and from “integration of psychology and religion,” which constitutes variously conceived (and usually religiously conservative) efforts to critique, recast, and apply psychology within a particular theological framework. The boundaries of the psychology of religion have from the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWheaton CollegeNortonUSA