The Psychology of Religion, Third Edition: An Empirical Approach

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9781572309012: The Psychology of Religion, Third Edition: An Empirical Approach

Now in a fully revised and expanded third edition, this landmark text provides comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of an increasingly rich and varied field. The authors synthesize classic and contemporary research on religious thought, belief, and behavior across the lifespan; the forms and meaning of religious experience; the social psychology of religious organizations; and connections to biology, morality, coping, and mental health. As in previous editions, the focus is on scientific work that is moving the psychology of religion into the mainstream of academic psychology, rather than broad interpretative and conceptual discussions. Organized for optimal use in advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level courses, every chapter features thought-provoking quotations, sidebars, and examples that bring key concepts to life.

New in the Third Edition
*Restructured and expanded to accommodate the rapidly growing literature
*Fully updated with the latest findings and interpretations
*New chapter on religion and biology
*New chapter on empirical foundations
*Coverage of such timely topics as religious extremism and clerical child abuse

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface
1. The Psychological Nature and Functions of Religion
2. Foundations for an Empirical Psychology of Religion
3. Religion and Biology
4. Religion in Childhood
5. Religious Socialization and Thought in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
6. The Form and Content of Adult Religion
7. The Roles and Functions of Religion in Adult Life
8. Religion and Death
9. Religious Experience
10. Mysticism
11. Conversion
12. The Social Psychology of Religious Organizations
13. Religion and Morality
14. Helping Behavior and Prejudice
15. Religion, Coping, and Adjustment
16. Religion and Mental Disorder
17. Epilogue
Index

Review:

"Perhaps for the first time, it is becoming difficult to keep up with advances in the psychology of religion. The vitality of the field makes the third edition of this volume all the more indispensable. Pioneers in the field, Spilka et al. integrate important new research findings into their comprehensive text. They add further depth to the volume through coverage of such emerging topics as spirituality, forgiveness, religious doubting, and the biology of religion. This book remains the definitive scientifically oriented work on the psychology of religion, and will be a useful text in graduate-level seminars."--Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

"In this update of their classic book, Spilka et. al maintain their scholarly but highly readable integration of major research areas, incorporating recent developments in the field as well as other relevant issues in our post-9/11 world. Importantly, the volume's organizing perspective has been broadened to emphasize meaning seeking and meaning making, and new chapters have been included on the foundations of empirical psychology, the form and role of religion in adult life, and helping behavior and prejudice. This book is an essential text for upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students in psychology, sociology, and religious studies, and a valuable resource for scholars, mental health practitioners, and clergy."--Crystal Park, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut; President (2002-2003), APA Division 36, Psychology of Religion

"A landmark in the field since its original publication, this third edition is one of the best and most up-to-date reviews of the psychology of religion. Without neglecting the 'grand theories,' the authors restrict themselves mainly to a well-balanced and highly readable presentation and discussion of the results of contemporary and recent empirical studies. A laudable effort is made to integrate international developments and perspectives with North American scholarship, and to do justice to the increasing body of hermeneutical and qualitative research in the field. This book continues to be an indispensable source of information for teachers and students in the psychology of religion (and a goldmine for research seminars!). It will also appeal to researchers and scholars in related disciplines who want to stay abreast of the current state of the art."--Jacob A. Belzen, PhD, RelStD, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam

"This is the first place I turn--and where I send students and colleagues--with virtually any question about theory or research in the field. In one volume, it is both an accessible textbook for teachers and students and an encyclopedic reference for researchers and scholars."--Lee A. Kirkpatrick, PhD, Department of Psychology, College of William & Mary

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