An Introduction to the Psychology of Religion

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CUP Archive, 1971 - Psychology - 152 pages
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The third edition of this successful book, which applies the science of psychology to problems of religion. Dr Thouless explores such questions as: why do people believe? Why are their beliefs often held with irrational strength? How are changes in belief systems related to mental health? What are reasonable attitudes towards alternative belief systems? This edition includes samples of the experimental and statistical studies of religious problems, including the author's own study of the strength of religious beliefs. This edition also pays more attention to the problems of non-Christian religious systems, with special consideration given to the problems of mutual toleration. Finally Dr Thouless considers whether it is reasonable for modern man to adhere to any religious belief system. This is an excellent textbook for students of the social sciences, particularly psychology and theology, and will also interest the general reader who has an intellectual curiosity about religion.
  

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Contents

How the psychological study of religion began
1
Psychology and religion
8
The psychological roots of religion
15
The social factor in religion
20
The natural factor in religion
32
The moral conflict
39
The emotional factor in religion
48
Religion and human needs
58
Psychical research and religion
80
The psychology of prayer
90
The psychology of meditation
96
The psychology of conversion
104
Mysticism
121
Practical problems of religious diversity
132
The empirical argument for religious faith
141
Index
149

The intellectual factor in religion
65
Religion and psychotherapy
73

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