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In: How Prophecy Lives

Abstract

The question of whether psychology ought to be or is a science remains an open issue for both historical and philosophical reasons. Recent proposals for a theistic psychology clash most strongly with advocates of psychological science which are largely restricted to an epistemological naturalism. Theistic psychologies transcend epistemological naturalism and introduce non-material ontological considerations into psychology as a possible competing paradigm in which spiritual realities co-exist with the physical and are explicitly acknowledged. The history of these two competing paradigms characterizes the history of Division 36 of the APA and remain live options. Efforts to establish psychology as a natural science, divorced from philosophy can be traced to William James who treated psychology as if it were a natural science in his Principles of Psychology while cognizant of serious philosophical conundrums that led him to abandon a strict epistemological naturalism in his study of religion. In James’ Variety of Religious Experience advocates of theistic psychology have a model for an alternative to the preferred naturalist paradigm in the American study of religion and spirituality. James’ suggestions for an alternative paradigm based upon empirical studies that evaluate secular and theistic psychologies within their cultural contexts can provide the realization of a conversation between advocates of what otherwise are largely philosophically incommensurate paradigms for psychology as a unique discipline.

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In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 32
In: Dimensions of Mystical Experiences
In: Dimensions of Mystical Experiences
In: Dimensions of Mystical Experiences
In: Dimensions of Mystical Experiences
In: Dimensions of Mystical Experiences
Full Access
In: Dimensions of Mystical Experiences