RLG211H1: Psychology of Religion


The psychoanalytic study of religion examines the nature of religious beliefs, experiences and practices as creations of mind and culture. What is the nature of and relationship between belief and knowledge, subjective and objective experience/reality, phantasy, dreams and reality? How do the individual and social unconscious create and shape religious beliefs, experiences and practices? These and other questions are explored in order to understand the ways in which psychoanalysis, as a critical theory of religion, contributes to theorizing the ways in which individual psychology is also social psychology. Included in our focus is a consideration of mystical, visionary, esoteric and paranormal experiences in the psychoanalytic study of religion. Insights from evolutionary and cognitive psychology and neuroscience will be considered as well in our discussions of psychology and religion.

Social Science
Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)