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Lecture 00 history of the psychology of religion

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  • 1. dr Paweł M. SochaInstitute for the Study of ReligionsJagiellonian UniversityUnit of the Psychology of Religion E-mail: pawel.m.socha&uj.edu.pl
  • 2. History of the discipline or Why a psychologist is interested in religious issues? Psychology of religion
  • 3. Quite surprisingly… (and among the others) the story begins with Wilhelm Wundt, along with his Völkerpsychologie, in 6 volumes, published between 1905 and 1911 Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
  • 4. Wundt’s ideas Origins of myth evolutionary process originating in elementary and nonreligious events projection of human feelings and desires implementation of intentionality Origins of religion a feeling that our world is a part of the larger, supernatural one a need to comprehend MEANING
  • 5. Sir Francis Galton (1822-1901) … and odd experiments … and his imagination of Punch figure
  • 6. PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGIONas the discipline’s name Edwin Diller Starbuck (1866-1947) The Psychology of Religion – published in 1899 The Clark’s School G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924) Rector of the Clark’s University Founder of the American Psychological Association (1892) Founder of the first laboratory of experimental psychology (1888) Founder of the first journal on psychology: American Journal of Psychology (1887) Founder of the first journal on the psychology of religion: American Journal of Religious Psychology & Education Teacher of eminent figures in psychology: John Dewey, L. Terman and others James Henry Leuba (1868-1946) and his naturalism
  • 7. 1910 – Meeting of the Titans Place – Clark University Freud Jung Jones Brill Ferenczi Hall
  • 8. The uncertain future of religion According to Leuba, the more widespread is education, the less religious involvement of individual persons Research on scientists in 1914, replicated in 1933 revealed: less religious were more eminent figures in sciences Less religious were humanists than physicists Will religion decline? Recent research by Maria Libiszowska-Żółtkowska (2000) confirmed the exact proportions of believers among scientists
  • 9. The most famous American classic William James (1842-1910) – the sick soul The opposite religious type – a healthy-minded man Two types of religious mystic: Active one Passive one The Varieties of Religious Experiences (1902) Mind-cure – religious healing The mechanism of conversion
  • 10. The mystical ladder Features of mystical experience: Ineffability Noetic quality Transciency Passivity Cosmic consciousness Ecstatic union with deepest truth Purification of sensory experiences Feeling of mystery Sudden sense of being there Deeper significance of a word or sensory impression
  • 11. OTHER INSIGHTS OF JAMES Mechanism of conversion Description of saintliness Fruits of exaggerated experiences for this reason decay
  • 12. ANOTHER GREAT FIGURE James Bisset Pratt (1875-1944) Main scientific outcome:Religious consciousness. A Psychological Study(1920)
  • 13. German language tradition Rudolph Otto – The Idea of the Holy (1917) Friedrich Heiler – Prayer (1918) Karl Girgensohn (1875-1925) – the Dorpat School European journals on the psychology of religion: ZeitschriftfürReligionspsychologie(since 1913) Archive fürReligionspsychologie(since 1914 and at present) Psychoanalytic interpretation of religion Religion as an illusion or illusion about the future? Sigmund Freud (1927) and … Oskar Pfister (1928) Harald & KristianSchjelderup (1932) – brilliant analyses of personality of Bodhidharma, Ramakrishna and Martin Luther; also – case analyses of mental disorders with religious correlates
  • 14. The Swiss giant – C. G. Jung Religion as archetypal process Individuation – do we really speak of religion or of something else?
  • 15. French language tradition Apologetic orientation Maine de Biran (1766-1824) – inner mystical experience as the proof of validity Auguste Sabatier (1839-1901) – religion origins from the inner experience Later – some Catholic priests and psychologists, like Henri Delacroix and Bruno de Jésus-Marie (ÉtudesCarmélitaines) Critical orientation (pseudo-pathological) Pierre Janet (1859-1947) – religion originates from psychasthenia, hysteria or other disorders TheoduleRibot (1830-1916) – religion originates from constitutional features „Mainstream” orientation – Theodore Flournoy (1854-1920) from Switzerland
  • 16. The Flournoy’s principle of the exclusion of transcendence Psychologists of religion should neither reject nor affirm the independent existence of the religious object, a philosophical matter that lies outside their domain of competence Theodore Flournoy (1854-1920)
  • 17. The „early” Scandinavians Nathan Söderblom (1866-1931) – personality mysticism vs. infinity mysticism Tor Andraæ (1885-1946) Mystikenpsykologi (1926) HjalmarSundén (1908-1993) – religious role-taking theory
  • 18. The Dutch & Belgian pioneers Han Fortman and Wilem Berger – pioneers at the University of Nijmegen Later – Jan van der Lans (1933-2002) Antoine (Antoon) Vergote (1921-) – pioneer at the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain) Andre Godin (1915-1997) – psychologist at the Lumen Vitae in Brussels
  • 19. Italian psychology of religion Giancarlo Milanesi (1933-1993) – Salezian University in Roma, author of the handbook on the psychology of religion (1966) World’s psychology of religion Spanish & Portuguese psychology of religion – Spain, Brazil Slovak, Czech Other ??? – Russian ? Other Slavonic, Serb, Hindu, Japanese…?
  • 20. Polish pionieers of the psychology of religion Jan WładysławDawid (1859-1914) – author of papers and research on religious conversions, later published under the title „Psychology of religion” (1918) Edward Abramowski (1868-1918) – theory of crypto-mnesia and many international contributions (in French and German) – collection of works: Metafizykadoświadczalna (1980). WładysławWitwicki (1878-1948) – translation of two Gospels (Saint Matthew and Saint Mark) with psychological analysis, first and unique chapter on religiousness in the 2-volume handbook on psychology, theory of faith as a supposition in Wiara oświeconych(1938 in French, 1956 first time in Polish)

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