Outlines of the Psychology of Religion

Outlines of the Psychology of Religion

Outlines of the Psychology of Religion

Outlines of the Psychology of Religion

Excerpt

Within the last quarter of a century the psychology of religion has become one of the special disciplines. It occupies a highly interesting intermediate field in which ways diverge for exploration of the science, history, comparative study, and philosophy of religion. One need not be an adherent of any one of the great religions, to engage in the investigation to advantage. Nor need one decide between the several types of psychology advocated in our day, save for purposes of this study. Writers on the subject have sometimes acknowledged their preference for Christianity or for Buddhism. Some of the recent critics of religion from a psychological standpoint have limited themselves to one type of applied psychology, such as psychoanalysis. But the general tendency has been to follow one of the pioneer authors, William James, whose very important work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902, set the standard for description of the great religious types. Thus the clue has been found for the most part in the analysis and description of religious experience, by adopting any psychological principle that might prove its utility.

The aim of this volume is to correlate the leading topics that have been under discussion in this field, to aid both the college student, the general student of religion, and readers who are interested in religion in the light of the changing conceptions of the present time. Some writers on this subject omit such topics as personality and immortality. Others limit the discussion to an ethical view of religion. Still others are either preoccupied with mysticism or are extremely unsympathetic in their treatment of it. Nearly every writer fares forth at times on the road to philosophy or theology. The purpose of this work is to . . .

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