Psychology and Religion within an Ideological Surround

Author: Paul J. Watson
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.

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Paul J. Watson, Ph.D. (1977), University of Texas at Arlington, was Professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He published over 200 articles in the psychology of religion. He died shortly after completing this manuscript.

Flesh and Blood: Interrogating Freud on Human Sacrifice, Real and Imagined
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi
 1 Turning to Freud’s Ideas
 2 Approaching an Imaginary Religion
 3 Shadows and Echoes: the Legacy of the Blood Libel
 4 Shadows and Echoes: Child Sacrifice in Texts and Traditions
 5 Sacred Cannibalism or the Atonement for Primal Crimes
 6 Conclusion: Unanswered Questions
All interested in religion and psychology will find Psychology and Religion within an Ideological Surround a provocative perspective on the influence on ideology in empirical studies that often go unnoticed.