Aspects in Contexts

Studies in the History of Psychology of Religion


Edited by Jacob A. Belzen

Psychology of religion has been enjoying considerable attention of late; the number of publications and people involved in the field is rapidly increasing. It is, however, one of the oldest branches within psychology in general, and one of the few in which an interdisciplinary approach has been kept alive and fostered. The fate of the field has been quite varied in the countries where psychology of religion has been initiated and developed during the 20th century. In this volume, some aspects of this international history are examined. Coming from six different Western countries, each of the contributors has a record in the historiography of psychology and profound knowledge of psychology of religion. Their approaches combine elements from the history of mentalities, the social history of science and biographical studies.
The volume contains in-depth treatments of such topics as the growth of the field as reflected in university politics, developments within international organizations, and the personal involvement of contributors to the field. A wealth of information is provided on the background of the work of well known psychologists of religion like James Henry Leuba, Oskar Pfister, Gordon Allport, Werner Gruehn, Antoine Vergote and others.

Belief and Unbelief

Psychological perspectives


Edited by Jozef Corveleyn and Dirk Hutsebaut

Editor-in-Chief Ralph W. Hood

Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Psychology presents extended articles focused on theory and the integration of empirical data that bridge the gap between humanities studies and those of psychological science. Firm boundaries associated with disciplines concerned with religion and psychology are difficult to define and rapidly developing research strategies are in need of critical in-depth presentation that explores how various approaches to psychology are contributing to a broader understanding of religion in what some have claimed is a secular and others a post-secular age.

This series will be directed to a wide audience of students, scholars, and active researchers seeking up-to-date information on the diversity of approaches and methods that psychologists are applying to illuminate the wide range of phenomenon that either define or are associated with religion in individual cultures and globally. Published quarterly, each peer-reviewed issue will consist of one uniquely focused article of approximately 40,000 words. Individual issues will also be made available as a standalone book in both print and electronic format.

Current Issues in the Psychology of Religion

Proceedings of the third symposium on the psychology of religion in Europe

Edited by Jacob A. Belzen and J.M. van der Lans

Current Studies on Rituals

Perspectives for the psychology of religion


Edited by Hans-günter Heimbrock and H. Barbara Boudewijnse

Dimensions of Mystical Experiences

Empirical Studies and Psychological Links


Ralph W. Hood Jr.


Edited by Alexander Beihammer, Stavroula Constantinou and Maria G. Parani

Publicly performed rituals and ceremonies form an essential part of medieval political practice and court culture. This applies not only to western feudal societies, but also to the linguistically and culturally highly diversified environment of Byzantium and the Mediterranean basin. The continuity of Roman traditions and cross-fertilization between various influences originating from Constantinople, Armenia, the Arab-Muslim World, and western kingdoms and naval powers provide the framework for a distinct sphere of ritual expression and ceremonial performance. This collective volume, placing Byzantium into a comparative perspective between East and West, examines transformative processes from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, succession procedures in different political contexts, phenomena of cross-cultural appropriation and exchange, and the representation of rituals in art and literature.
Contributors are Maria Kantirea, Martin Hinterberger, Walter Pohl, Andrew Marsham, Björn Weiler, Eric J. Hanne, Antonia Giannouli, Jo Van Steenbergen, Stefan Burkhardt, Ioanna Rapti, Jonathan Shepard, Panagiotis Agapitos, Henry Maguire, Christine Angelidi and Margaret Mullett.


Ritva Palmén

Richard of St.Victor (d.1173) developed original ideas about the faculty of imagination in a twelfth-century Parisian context. Related to the historical study of philosophical psychology, Richard of St. Victor’s Theory of Imagination acknowledges that the faculty of imagination, being a necessary precondition for human reasoning and a link between soul and body, plays an important role in Richard’s understanding of the human soul. Richard also deals with the interpretation of biblical language, metaphors, rhetoric, and the possibility of creative imagination. Considering all these aspects of the imagination in Richard’s texts improves our understanding of his theological epistemology and sheds new light on the theory of the imagination in the history of medieval philosophy in general.


Steven F.H. Stowell

Analyzing the literature on art from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, The Spiritual Language of Art explores the complex relationship between visual art and spiritual experiences during the Italian Renaissance. Though scholarly research on these writings has predominantly focused on the influence of classical literature, this study reveals that Renaissance authors consistently discussed art using terms, concepts and metaphors derived from spiritual literature. By examining these texts in the light of medieval sources, greater insight is gained on the spiritual nature of the artist’s process and the reception of art. Offering a close re-readings of many important writers (Alberti, Leonardo, Vasari, etc.), this study deepens our understanding of attitudes toward art and spirituality in the Italian Renaissance.

Das Heilige im Profanen

Eine qualitative Studie zu religiösen Orientierungen von Frauen aus der charismatisch-evangelikalen Bewegung


Ulrike Popp-Baier

In diesem Band wird die religiöse Kultur einer charismatischen Frauengruppe psychologisch analysiert. Partizipierende Beobachtungen, Dokumentenanalysen und narrative Interviews bilden den methodischen Zugang zu den religiösen Deutungen des Alltags und der eigenen Lebensgeschichte. Die Analysen zeigen, daß die Bekehrung zur charismatisch-evangelikalen Variante des christlichen Fundamentalismus die Konstruktion eines Erfahrungs- und Erwartungsraums erlaubt, welcher sich durch einen Zuwachs an individuellen Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten auszeichnet. Alltagspraktisch bieten sich dadurch u.a. Möglichkeiten der Rationalisierung von Entscheidungen und der Bewältigung von Kontingenzen. Lebenspraktisch können durch die religiöse Strukturierung von Erfahrungen deren personale, soziale und leibliche Dimensionen wieder akzentuiert und zu einer stringenten Lebensform verbunden werden. Dazu gehören auch ritualisierte Formen narrativer Selbstthematisierung, welche die Konstruktion einer kohärenten Biographie erlauben. Eine feministisch-kritische Interpretation derartiger Lebensgeschichten zeigt, daß manche dieser Erzählungen auch als Emanzipationsgeschichten gelesen werden können.
Gegenstandstheoretische Überlegungen zum Religionsbegriff und der methodische Entwurf einer kulturpsychologischen Religionsforschung bilden den metatheoretischen Kontext dieser empirischen Studie. Dabei wird das Konzept einer Religionspsychologie als hermeneutischer Kulturanalyse theoretisch ausgearbeitet und zugleich empirisch erprobt.