Pub. Date:
Springer New York
Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality / Edition 1

Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality / Edition 1

by James M. NelsonJames M. Nelson
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Over a century ago, psychologists who were fascinated with religion began to study and write about it. Theologians and religious practitioners have responded to this literature, producing a fascinating dialogue that deals with our fundamental und- standings about the human person and our place in the world. This book provides an introduction to the important conversations that have developed out of these interchanges. The dialogue between psychology and religion is difficult to study for a number of reasons. First, it requires knowledge of both psychology and religion. People with a background in psychology often lack a solid understanding of the religious traditions they wish to study, and theologians may not be up to date on the latest developments in psychology. Second, it requires conceptual tools to organize the material and understand the basic problems involved in any attempt to connect the science of psychology with religion. These concepts can be found in many places, for instance in the writings of philosophers of science, but they are complex and often hard to follow for those without a proper theological and philosophical ba- ground. Finally, authors who write on the topic come to the study of psychology and religion from a variety of academic and personal backgrounds. This makes for wonderful diversity in conversations, but it makes understanding and mastery of the material quite difficult.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780387875729
Publisher: Springer New York
Publication date: 02/27/2009
Edition description: 2009
Pages: 731
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 4.80(d)

About the Author

Professor James M. Nelson (B.A. Eastern Washington University, M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary, M.S. & Ph.D. Washington State University) is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Valparaiso University. He has been a faculty member at Valparaiso since 1987 and has served as director of graduate counseling programs and chair of the psychology department. In 1990 he began a major research project with colleagues in China, focusing on the study of cultural differences in depression and personality. In addition to this research, Dr. Nelson's background includes two stints as Director of the VU Hangzhou China program and a year as a visiting scholar in the National Research Center for Asian-American Mental Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. Last fall he lead the first VU group visit to Tibet. He teaches courses in cross-cultural psychology and the comparative psychology of Christianity and Buddhism.

Table of Contents

I. Fundamentals.
1. Introduction to Psychology, Religion & Spirituality. 1.1. Introduction. 1.2. Basic Concepts: Religion and Spirituality. 1.3. Religion and Spirituality Today. 1.4. Psychological Approaches to Religion and Spirituality. 1.5. Religious and Theological Responses. 1.6. Current Research and Approaches. 1.7. Conclusion and a Look Ahead.
2. Science, Religion and Psychology. 2.1. Philosophical Concepts and Issues. 2.2. Early Modern Views of Science and Religion. 2.3. The Rise of Classical Positivism. 2.4. Logical Positivism. 2.5. Contemporary Issues in Science and Religion. 2.6. Conclusion.
3. Religious Traditions. 3.1. Hinduism. 3.2. Buddhism. 3.3. Christianity. 3.4. Conclusion.
II. Dialogue—Past, Present, and Future.
4. Phenomenological Approaches. 4.1. Introduction. 4.2. William James. 4.3. Perennial and Universalist Views. 4.4. Constructivism and Responses. 4.5. Conversion. 4.6. Religious Perspectives. 4.7. Conclusion.
5. Psychodynamic and Relational Approaches. 5.1. Freud: Master of Suspicion. 5.2. Jung and Archetypal Religion. 5.3. Erik Ericson. 5.4. Object Relations Approaches. 5.5. Conclusion.
6. Contemporary Approaches and Debates. 6.1. Neurobiological Approaches to Religion. 6.2. Evolutionary Psychology and Religion. 6.3. Postmodern Perspectives, Psychology, and Religion. 6.4. Conclusion.
III. Human Development.
7. Fundamentals of Human Development, Religion and Spirituality. 7.1. Basic Issues in Developmental Therapy. 7.2. Religious Models of Spiritual Development. 7.3. Early Genetic Theories of Religious Development. 7.4. Cognitive-Structuralist Theories of Development. 7.5. Integrative Approaches to Religious Development. 7.6. Conclusion.
8. Religion and Development in Childhood and Adolescence. 8.1. Religion and Religious Socialization in Childhood. 8.2. Attachment and Religion in Children and Adults. 8.3. God Image and Representation. 8.4. Adolescent Description. 8.5. Identity, Development,Gender and Religion. 8.6. Conclusion.
9. Religion, Spirituality and Development in Adulthood. 9.1. Issues in Adult Development Research. 9.2. Young Adult and Midlife Development. 9.3. Mechanisms of Stability and Change. 9.4. Religion and Spirituality in Older Adult. 9.5. Conclusion.
IV. Application.
10. Religion, Spirituality and Physical Health. 10.1. Scientific Approaches to Religion and Health. 10.2. Religion, Health, and Coping. 10.3. Religious Perspectives on Health. 10.4. Collaborative Approaches to Health. 10.5. Conclusion.
11. Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health. 11.1. Psychological Models of Mental Health. 11.2. Spiritual and Religious Models of Mental Health. 11.3. Psychological and Spiritual Views of Specific Problems. 11.4. Religion and Spirituality in Mental Health Treatment. 11.5. Conclusion.
12. Practices and Religious Communities. 12.1. Religious and Spiritual Practices in Community. 12.2. Religious Self-understandings of Community. 12.3. Psychological Perspectives on Religious Communities. 12.4. Religious Practices in Community. 12.5. Problems of Religious Communities. 12.6. Conclusion.
13. Individual Religious and Spiritual Practices. 13.1. Religious and Spiritual Practices: Prayer and Meditation. 13.2. Early Christian and Orthodox Prayer and Ascetic Practice. 13.3. Prayer and the Western Contemplative Tradition. 13.4. Christian Protestant and Modern Views of Prayer. 13.5. Meditation: Eastern Perspectives. 13.6. Meditation: Psychological Perspectives. 13.7. Conclusion.
14. Helping Relationships: Counseling and Spiritual Growth. 14.1. Religious Approaches to Guidance and Helping. 14.2. Spiritual and Religious Issues in Psychotherapy. 14.3. New Religious Approaches to Psychotherapy. 14.4. Conclusion.
15. Looking Back. 15.1: Lessons from Dialogue. 15.2: Approaches to Dialogue. 15.3: Barriers to Dialogue. 15.4: Prospects and Directions for Dialogue.

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