Towards Cultural Psychology of Religion: Principles, Approaches, Applications




Author: Jacob A. Belzen
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2010
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 296
Isbn10 Code: 9048134900
Isbn13 Code: 9789048134915


Review From the reviews: “In just 237 pages of text, this book achieves these aims remarkably well and more. Much of the discussion is relevant to the whole field of psychology. … In short, any graduate student in either cultural psychology or the psychology of religion needs to read this book. American psychologists will probably find diverse perspectives that are both provocative and engaging, both challenging and enlightening.” (Lê X. Hy, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 56 (14), April, 2011) From the Back Cover This book takes a bold stand: all psychology should be culturally sensitive psychology, especially when studying religious phenomena. It explains that culture is not simply to be conceived of as a variable that possibly influences behavior. Rather, it stresses that cultural patterns of acting, thinking and experiencing are created, adopted and promulgated by a number of individuals jointly. As human subjectivity is different in different cultures, cultural psychology is not interested in comparatively investigating how experiences and behavior, attitudes and social relationships present themselves within different cultural conditions. By consequence, cultural psychology does not start from Western psychological constructs, testing for their presence in other cultures, but from human acts and activities in specific cultures, analyzing them in a hermeneutical way. Like cultural psychology, psychology of religion currently enjoys more and more interest and rapid growth. But the two fields have remained rather unconnected in the recent past. Psychological research on religion has been pursued from a number of perspectives, among which a cultural psychological one has not yet become prominent. As religions, however conceptualized, are cultural entities of major importance, cultural psychology seems a natural ally to research on religion. Containing a number of studies, both theoretical and empirical, this volume takes a step towards a rapprochement of cultural psychology and psychology of religion.   Having received several international awards and distinctions, Jacob A. Belzen is one of Europe’s best-known psychologists of religion. As he has obtained doctorates in social science, history, philosophy and sciences of religion, his numerous publications are characterized by a strong interdisciplinary approach. He is a full professor at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He worked on this book while he was a visiting Fellow at Cambridge University (UK).

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