religion

During a 1945 lecture in Paris, Jean-Paul Sartre offered the following useful metaphor for God: When we think of God as the creator, we are thinking of him, most of the time, as a superior artisan… When God creates he knows precisely what he is creating. Thus, the conception...

Religion, if nothing else, is a profoundly human phenomenon, and therefore amenable to study by psychologists. In his 2002 article for The Psychologist, Michael Argyle proposed treating religious faith as an attitude – something with cognitive, behavioural and emotional...

Why is religion so common around the world? Why do some religious ideas and practices out-compete others? Why do religious practices take on common characteristics across cultures, and how deeply imbedded in human history and nature is religion? The cognitive science of...

Early 20th-century interest in religion and mental health was sparked by Freud’s view of religion as intrinsically neurotic. Freud described religion and its rituals as a collective neurosis, which, he suggested, could save a person the effort of forming an individual...

Psychology is thought of as a relatively new discipline, but its subject matter has been addressed throughout the more ancient history of philosophy and theology. Early thinking on the nature of piety and religion followed a number of trends.

Descriptive reflections...

Over the last couple of decades a substantial literature has developed that considers how mental health practitioners might respond respectfully and constructively to clients’ religious and spiritual issues. Some psychologists might wonder why we would want to do this. Within...

I imagine that some people reading this may be surprised to recognise your name as a past President of the BPS and perhaps see what you’re doing now as a theologian and priest as inconsistent with being a psychologist. What was your journey to where you are today?...

Buddhist meditators have thicker cortex in brain regions associated with attention. Magnetically stimulating someone’s temporal lobe causes them to sense a presence in the room. Temporal lobe epileptics are obsessed with religion. Is God an illusion generated by a ‘God module...