Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

God Image

  • Bernard Spilka
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_268-6

To the best of our knowledge in all cultures, supernatural beliefs occupy a central and extremely important place in the lives of the overwhelming majority of people. Apparently, only scholars in Western societies have attempted to understand and study the beliefs, behaviors, and experiences of those who accept such views. A basic, apparently innate, feature of our mental apparatus is the formation of images of reference objects wherever possible. More specifically, research indicates that a probable genetic component is part of such religious systems (D’Onofrio et al. 1999). Though these do not explicitly identify God images as part of this complex, many scholars imply that they are part of such a mental framework (Ellis 2000).

Research in this area concerns two idea patterns: a descriptive set of images and certain cognitive and behavioral characteristics. Strictly speaking, God image refers to the former; the God concept is the latter. Concept also includes divine intentions and...


Reference Object Mental Apparatus Reliable Treatment Religious System Parental Root 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA