Browse results

Although science was originally broadly conceptualized as a systematic, rigorous activity to produce trustworthy knowledge, psychologists adopted a single philosophy of science and strictly enforced natural science as the only proper “scientific” psychology. Qualitative research has been part of modern psychology from the beginning, but it was obscured for nearly a century as positivist epistemology came to dominate the field. Building culturally robust and intelligible theories capable of responding more effectively to complex problems faced by a rapidly changing world calls for openness in methodological diversity. Deeply rooted in a hermeneutic tradition, cultural psychology has challenged the appropriateness of seeking reductive knowledge because higher mental processes such as religious beliefs, values, and choices are bound by historical and cultural context. As greater interdisciplinary integration and methodological innovations are necessary to keep psychology of religion relevant, narrative inquiry has emerged as a promising integrative paradigm.
In Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism, W. Paul Williamson takes a critical look at the sociohistorical emergence of fundamentalism and examines how historians constructed popular, though questionable, conceptions of the movement that have dominated decades of empirical research in psychology. He further analyzes the notions of militancy and anti-modernity as valid characterizations of fundamentalism and examines whether fundamentalism, as a Christian Protestant phenomenon, is useful in labelling global forms of religious extremism and violence. In observing the lack of theory-driven research, the publication offers theories that situate fundamentalism as a social psychological phenomenon as opposed to some personal predisposition. Students and scholars of fundamentalism will discover Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism to be a provocative study on the topic.
Author: Barbara Keller
Psychoanalytic and Psychometric Perspectives on Religion suggests to combine perspectives from psychoanalysis and academic psychology, from nomothetic and idiothetic research, for more depth of vision for the current psychology of religion. In this interdisciplinary study, Barbara Keller demonstrates the potential of integrative perspectives by analysing topics such as religious development, religion and personality, and the process of working with religious issues in psychotherapy. Options for the study of lived “religion” are discussed, taking into consideration North American and European contexts of religious experience and of psychological and psychoanalytic discussion.
A Practical Review of Research and Application
In Terror Management Theory: A Practical Review of Research and Application, Robert B. Arrowood and Cathy R. Cox discuss relevant research from an experimental, existential psychology tradition. Outlining the past thirty years of research within terror management, the authors discuss such topics as religion, close relations, politics and law, existential growth, and physical and mental health.

Although the inevitable outcome of all humanity is death, according to terror management theory, we adhere to cultural worldviews and establish close relations in order to boost our self-esteem. Through these defences, we deny our death and attain a degree of immortality, staving off existential fear by being part of an enduring cultural system that will outlive any individual member.
Fears and stories about an underground religion devoted to Satan, which demands and carries out child sacrifice, appeared in the United States in the late twentieth century and became the subject of media reports supported by some mental health professionals. Examining these modern fantasies leads us back to ancient stories which in some cases believers consider the height of religious devotion.

Horrifying ideas about human sacrifice, child sacrifice, and the offering to the gods of a beloved only son by his father appear repeatedly in Western traditions, starting with the Greeks and the Hebrews. In Flesh and Blood: Interrogating Freud on Human Sacrifice, Real and Imagined, Beit-Hallahmi focuses on rituals of violence tied to religion, both imagined and real. The main focus of this work is the meaning of blood and ritual killing in the history of religion. The book examines the encounter with the idea of child sacrifice in the context of human hopes for salvation.
Multiple forms of oppression, injustice, and violence today have roots in histories of colonialism. This connection to the past feels familiar for some and less relevant for others. Understanding and responding to these connections is more crucial than ever, yet some resist rather than face this task directly. Others resist oppressive postcolonial conditions.

Using intercultural stories and pastoral care scholarship, this book charts pathways through five resistances (not me, not here, not now, not relevant, not possible) to awaken creative pastoral care in a postcolonial world. McGarrah Sharp recommends practices that everyone can do: believing in each other, revisiting how histories are taught, imagining more passable futures, heeding prophetic poets, and crossing borders with healthy boundaries.
Author: Reimar Hartge
Der Drang nach Menschlichkeit kennt bei dem, der sich darauf einlässt, kein Zögern und Zaudern. – Er bohrt sich – einer Quelle gleich – sogar durch hart abweisenden Fels! – Eigentlich müsste das Hinfinden zur Menschlichkeit etwas Selbstverständliches sein; doch rücksichtslos verlogenes Konkurrenzstreben, stur egoistisches Denken bei der Gefahrenabwehr und brutal feindliche Gesinnung lähmen die Suche nach Tugenden. – Menschlichkeit findet ihre Bedeutung im intuitiven Erkennen und Differenzieren möglicher Charakterstärken und -schwächen. – Mitmenschlichkeit strebt danach, eigene gewissenhaft geläuterte Persönlichkeit harmonisch heilsam in die Menschengemeinschaft einzubringen. – Im Idealfall sollten Menschlichkeit und Mitmenschlichkeit ´zusammenfließen`, wie Spektralfarben es tun. –
In Caring for Joy: Narrative, Theology, and Practice Mary Clark Moschella offers a new account of the value of joy in caregiving vocations, demonstrating how the work of caring for persons, communities, and the world need not be a dreary endeavor overwhelmed by crises or undermined by despair. Moschella presents glimpses of joy-in-action in the narratives of five notable figures: Heidi Neumark, Henri Nouwen, Gregory Boyle, Pauli Murray, and Paul Farmer, gleaning their wisdom for the construction of a theology of joy that embodies compassion, connection, justice, and freedom. Care must be deep enough to hold human suffering and spacious enough to take in the divine goodness, beauty, and love. This book expands the pastoral theological imagination and narrates joy-full approaches to transformational care.

“This work is a scholarly, engaging and compassionate call to reconsider the significance of joyful living and joyful lives in radical pastoral theology.”
— Heather Walton, University of Glasgow, President of the International Academy of Practical Theology, July 2016.

“Based on biographies, interviews, and life stories, Mary Clark Moschella presents joy as a counter-cultural emotion, as a spiritual path, and as a fruit of the Spirit. In her research, joy and reason are not ultimately opposed.”
— Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor of Pastoral Care, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, July 2016.

“This highly readable and compelling theology of joy will inspire you to explore how joy might energize your vocation, especially caregiving vocations that use narrative approaches to spiritual care and pastoral counseling. I plan on using this book as a textbook in my theodicy, grief, death and dying, and vocational courses.”
— Carrie Doehring, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, August 2016

“Mary Moschella has given us a rare text, one that is theologically rich, intellectually sophisticated, drenched in pastoral wisdom, and beautifully written. She gives us a pastoral theology attuned to the realities of diversity and sensitive to the complex challenges facing those who lives constantly interface with suffering. There is simply nothing else like this book in pastoral care.”
— Willie James Jennings, Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale University, August 2016
A Celebratory Supplement to the Archive for the Psychology of Religion
Author: Jacob A. Belzen
In 2015, both the journal Archive for the Psychology of Religion and the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), the bearer of the journal, completed their first century. This occasion prompted extensive historical research to the scientific infrastructure concerned, and critical reflection on their reason for existence, dealing with questions such as: How is the psychology of religion doing? What is it about? Which factors play a role? Whom does it serve? What has been the place and value of the infrastructure now celebrating its existence? This celebrating supplement to the Archive for the Psychology of Religion expands this discussion of IAPR’s history and continues its critical reflexion.
How Personality, Calling, and Learned Competencies Influence the Expatriate Transitions of Pentecostal Missionaries
In Missionary Expatriate Effectiveness, John Farquhar Plake examines how Pentecostal missionaries adjust to foreign cultural environments and become proficient at their work abroad. Connecting the disciplines of psychology, human resource management, and missiology, Plake provides unique insights into the predictors of expatriate effectiveness through the experience of 949 missionaries working in 127 nations.

Responding to the question, “Are missionaries born, called, or made?”, Plake provides evidence that cross-cultural training is a critical component of missionary formation. Here missionaries, educators, mission agency leaders, I-O psychologists, and cross-cultural scholars will find actionable data and a hopeful, nuanced picture of reality, grounded in the lived experiences of Pentecostal missionaries worldwide.