What leads a person to become religious? What happens psychologically in a religious experience? Does religion make a person happier, more open, more psychologically healthy, more tolerant, more caring? Bold and thoughtful, this book employs social-psychological theories and research to build an understanding of the source, nature and consequences of religion in individual life. The authors' goal is to provide an integrated and coherent perspective, one that honours the diversity and mystery of individuals' experience of religion, yet is scientifically sound. Drawing on the classic psychological treatment of religion by William James, Sigmund Freud and Gordon Alloort, as well as the more recent empirical literature, the authors develop a three-dimensional model of different ways of being religious ... as a means to self-serving ends, as an end in itself, and as an open-ended quest. They explore the origins of these dimensions of personal religion, tracing them to more or less creative responses to such existential questions as: What is the meaning and purpose of my life? and How do I deal with the fact that I am going to die? They then explore the consequences of each of the three dimensions, both for the religious individual and for others in society. Finally, building on the foregoing analysis, the authors address one of the basic questions of our age - whether religion is a force for good or evil in human life.
Previous owner's stamp on fly-leaf, some wear to covers but pages in near-new condition.