- Studying the specificity of spirituality: lessons from the psychology of religion
- Mental Health Religion & Culture
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
Psychological research on spirituality need not start from scratch: the psychology of religion provides substantial knowledge and experience that can be drawn on when psychologists want to do research on spirituality. Spirituality, while certainly not identical with religion or religiosity, is a human phenomenon to which many methodological insights from the study of religion may be applied, although it is also a domain where many mistakes from the history of the psychology of religion are likely to be repeated. After presenting some thoughts on the conceptualization of spirituality, and reflecting on the type of psychology required to do research on spirituality, the paper points out some hidden agenda's in the psychologies of religion and spirituality. Focusing on and keeping in mind the specificity of spiritual conduct, the paper discusses a number of practical aspects of empirical research on spirituality.
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