So Strong; yet so calm: Mary's Choice.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Psychology of religion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The first,

descriptive task naturally requires a clarification of one's terms,

above all,

the word religion."



if the processes of religion have little efficacy, 
there is no rationality for continuing the practice." 

Psychology of religion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to religious traditions, as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals. The science attempts to accurately describe the details, origins, and uses of religious beliefs and behaviors. Although the psychology of religion first arose as a self-conscious discipline as recently as the late 19th century, all three of these tasks have a history going back many centuries before that.

Many areas of religion remain unexplored by psychology. While religion and spirituality play a role in many people’s lives, it is uncertain how they lead to outcomes that are at times positive, and at other times negative. Thus, the pathways and outcomes that underlie these associations (and sometimes causations) need additional research. Continued dialogue between psychology and theology may foster greater understanding and benefit both fields.

The challenge for the psychology of religion is essentially threefold: (1) to provide a thoroughgoing description of the objects of investigation, whether they be shared religious content (e.g., a tradition's ritual observances) or individual experiences, attitudes, or conduct; (2) to account in psychological terms for the rise of such phenomena; and (3) to clarify the outcomes—the fruits, as William James put it—of these phenomena, for individuals and for the larger society.

The first, descriptive task naturally requires a clarification of one's terms, above all, the word religion. Historians of religion have long underscored the problematic character of this term, noting that its usage over the centuries has changed in significant ways, generally in the direction of reification. The early psychologists of religion were fully aware of these difficulties, typically acknowledging that the definitions they were choosing to use were to some degree arbitrary. With the rise of positivistic trends in psychology over the course of the 20th century, especially the demand that all phenomena be measured, psychologists of religion developed a multitude of scales, most of them developed for use with Protestant Christians. Factor analysis was also brought into play by both psychologists and sociologists of religion, in an effort to establish a fixed core of dimensions and a corresponding set of scales. The justification and adequacy of these efforts, especially in the light of constructivist and other postmodern viewpoints, remains a matter of debate.

In the last several decades, especially among clinical psychologists, a preference for the terms "spirituality" and "spiritual" has emerged, along with efforts to distinguish them from "religion" and "religious." Especially in the United States, "religion" has for many become associated with sectarian institutions and their obligatory creeds and rituals, thus giving the word a negative cast; "spirituality," in contrast, is positively constructed as deeply individual and subjective, as a universal capacity to apprehend and accord one's life with higher realities. In fact, "spirituality" has likewise undergone an evolution in the West, from a time when it was essentially a synonym for religion in its original, subjective meaning. Pargament (1997) suggests that rather than limiting the usage of “religion” to functional terms, a search for meaning, or substantive terms, anything related to the sacred, we can consider the interplay of these two vantage point. He proposes that religion can be considered the process of searching for meaning in relationship with the sacred.  Today, efforts are ongoing to "operationalize" these terms, with little regard for their history in their Western context and with the apparent realist assumption that underlying them are fixed qualities identifiable by means of empirical procedures.

American psychologist and philosopher William James (1842–1910) is regarded by most psychologists of religion as the founder of the field. He served as president of the American Psychological Association, and wrote one of the first psychology textbooks. In the psychology of religion, James' influence endures. His Varieties of Religious Experience is considered to be the classic work in the field, and references to James' ideas are common at professional conferences.

James distinguished between institutional religion and personal religion. Institutional religion refers to the religious group or organization, and plays an important part in a society's culture. Personal religion, in which the individual has mystical experience, can be experienced regardless of the culture. James was most interested in understanding personal religious experience.

In studying personal religious experiences, James made a distinction between healthy-minded and sick-souled religiousness. Individuals predisposed to healthy-mindedness tend to ignore the evil in the world and focus on the positive and the good. James used examples of Walt Whitman and the "mind-cure" religious movement to illustrate healthy-mindedness in The Varieties of Religious Experience. In contrast, individuals predisposed to having a sick-souled religion are unable to ignore evil and suffering, and need a unifying experience, religious or otherwise, to reconcile good and evil.

William James' hypothesis of pragmatism stems from the efficacy of religion. If an individual believes in and performs religious activities, and those actions happen to work, then that practice appears the proper choice for the individual. However, if the processes of religion have little efficacy, then there is no rationality for continuing the practice.


Do you realize with today's technology,  it's possible for every living person on our planet, 
have a cellphone?

 it's also theoretically possible to arrange for all those phones 
ring at the same time?

all that's needed getting all those people answering their phones at the same time,
a little advance notice and warning with the time they would be receiving
extremely important message?

all that's needed garanteeing them all not missing this call?

if all they heard was a five minute recording of me babbling incoherently,
effectively would makes me 

Not only have I simultaneously entered myself into the collective unconscienceness 
 everyone living this planet,  
effectively stopped our world from turning for five minutes.

What could God possibly have said, 
everyong putting life on hold just to answer that call?


 Too much time to kill or life not worth living?

you can picture our ~(6!9)~ as matter expanding 
nothing(?)that is(?)something, 
wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. 




"If instead of E = mc2 accept that energy to heal the world 

be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light


come to the conclusion that love is the most powerful force


because there limits. 

After the failure of humanity in the use and control 


the other forces of the universe that have turned against 


it is imperative that we nurture 


kind of energy. 


we want our species to survive,


we are to find meaning in life,


we want to save the world 




is the only and the last 


But this is not the same as saying I need to stop being

I'm a 
who's learning what works and what doesn't work 

Confront.  Dialogue? Confront.  Dialogue?

These are not a dirty words either.
 I take pride in this.

If you are not able defending 
your opinions,
you know
 exactly what is needed correcting the problem.




Bob and I 
feel we and our space were violated, 
 Bob has drawn up some conditions under which we 
all co-exist as neighbors.

concur with what he has written below.  

The Conditions:
1. There can be no further non-negotiated visits on your part with either or both of us.
2. We are not available to participte in your theological doctrines
which you presented to Janet for more than one hour and fifteen minutes. You failed to leave our house until the second time Janet indicated she needed a break for medicines. You may not know that Janet has Parkinson's and extended stressful events activate her symptoms. Furthermore, Janet needed to take her
medicines and tried to bring your theological discourse to a close,
but you continued. Furthermore, you left your basket of possessions in
our house in order that you would have assurance of returning to our
house. That is far too presumptuous for us.
3. You do not have permission to enter our property or phone our house
unless you can abide by these limits.
4. We do not listen to religious talk from anyone, let alone invite
them into our home. We do not do that with you. We share our faith
with people who ask questions of us and our religious convictions. You
had no questions for Janet, only pressing her to agree with your

G. Robert Gary, Sr. ThD

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