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Paul J. Watson

Abstract

For over three decades, an Ideological Surround Model (ISM) has pursued theoretical and methodological innovations designed to enhance the ‘truth’ and ‘objectivity’ of research into psychology and religion. The foundational argument of the ISM is that psychology as well as religion unavoidably operates within the limits of an ideological surround. Methodological theism, therefore, needs to supplement the methodological atheism that dominates the contemporary social sciences. Methodological theism should operationalize the meaningfulness of religious traditions and demonstrate empirically that the influences of ideology cannot be ignored. The ISM more generally suggests that contemporary social scientific rationalities need to be supplemented my more complex dialogical rationalities. Beliefs in secularization should also be supplemented by beliefs in trans-rationality.

Series:

Edited by Andrew Village and Ralph W. Hood

This volume includes a wide range of papers that explore individual and institutional aspects of religion from a social-science perspective. The special section has articles related to the practice of prayer, and includes studies from the USA, Europe, and the Middle East. The general papers include studies on coping strategies, God representations, spirituality versus religion, self-control in a Muslim context, and faith-based organizations in Cambodia. Together these papers form a valuable collection indicating the depth and vibrancy of research in these fields.

Conversations and Controversies in the Scientific Study of Religion

Collaborative and Co-authored Essays by Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe

Series:

Edited by Luther Martin and Donald Wiebe

Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe together have spent the better part of a century exploring possibilities for a scientific study of religion. The following essays are a record of their conversations together and of their conversations and controversies with a number of leading scholars in religious studies that address that possibility. As with any scientific endeavor, knowledge advances when research assumptions and experimental designs are collegially discussed and critically assessed. It is hoped that these essays might provide the occasion for scholars in the field to discuss the theoretical and methodological issues they have raised, to debate and expand upon them, or, in the spirit of forthright scientific inquiry, to refute the arguments they have made.