This book is a study in the social psychology of religion in Britain and America since 1900. I have tried to establish a basis of solid empirical facts by drawing on a variety of statistical sources, such as church records, social surveys and psychometric studies. With this data it is shown how religious behaviour and belief vary with personality factors, age and sex, environmental experiences, social class and other variables. An attempt is then made to test various psychoanalytic and other theories of religion against these findings. It is hoped that the verification of theories against statistical data in this way may prove applicable in other fields.
I am deeply indebted to the following for reading and criticizing chapters:--John Annett, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Oxford; The Rev. Geoffrey Beck, Minister of Summertown Congregational Church Oxford; David Butler, Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford; Roy Davis, Lecturer in Psychology, Oxford; B. A. Farrell, Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy, Oxford; Dr. Max Grunhut, Reader in Criminology, Oxford; Dr. Harry Kay, University Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, Oxford; Dr. John Mogey, University Lecturer in Sociology, Oxford; R. C. Oldfield, Professor of Psychology, Oxford; Dr. A. N. Oppenheim, Lecturer in Psychology, London School of Economics; Dr. Christopher Ounsted, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, Park Hospital, Oxford; Harold Solomon, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Oxford; Dr. R. H. Thouless, Reader in Educational Psychology, Cambridge; Dr. Michel Treisman, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Oxford.
I have also been greatly helped by suggestions and criticisms put forward by my own students, and by the many people who have contributed to the discussion when I have lectured on . . .