Lecture 00 history of the psychology of religion


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Lecture 00 history of the psychology of religion

  1. 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. 2. History of the discipline or Why a psychologist is interested in religious issues? Psychology of religion
  3. 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. 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. 5. Sir Francis Galton (1822-1901) … and odd experiments … and his imagination of Punch figure
  6. 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. 7. 1910 – Meeting of the Titans Place – Clark University Freud Jung Jones Brill Ferenczi Hall
  8. 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. 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. 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. 11. OTHER INSIGHTS OF JAMES Mechanism of conversion Description of saintliness Fruits of exaggerated experiences for this reason decay
  12. 12. ANOTHER GREAT FIGURE James Bisset Pratt (1875-1944) Main scientific outcome:Religious consciousness. A Psychological Study(1920)
  13. 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. 14. The Swiss giant – C. G. Jung Religion as archetypal process Individuation – do we really speak of religion or of something else?
  15. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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)