Psychology of Religion

Topics: Religion, Science, Scientific method Pages: 3 (1184 words) Published: April 24, 2008
How does the Psych of Religion resolve conflict between Science and Religion? In the past, both hard and soft sciences have been a link through which we could factually explain everything, down to the origins of life. Unfortunately, human behavior has proven itself to be far more complex than advocates of human sciences could imagine. The “brave new world” promised by new technologies has turned out to be just as dominated by war and injustices as those “primitive” religious cultures. Peace, many people have come to believe, can only be found through the beliefs of the individual. Religion often provides the perfect avenue on which to base those beliefs. The scientific world can show us how much and where brain activity occurs when people show kindness, make love or pray. However, those measurements can’t tell us what decisions are right, how kindness affects social relations, the meaning of love or why people pray. A relatively new area of psychology, the psychology of religion, has risen and helped to resolve some of the science vs. religion issues. The psychology of religion addresses all those questions while putting the mind of the scientist at ease through use of the scientific method. This field of psychology deals with understanding the psychological processes and explanations of an individual’s religious actions, thoughts, and beliefs. It also incorporates and questions the reasons behind many controversial scientific theories and notions.

Many theories originate in religious thought. For example, Johannes Kepler tried to model the solar system according to his own religious inductions. That was eventually transformed into today’s heliocentric theories, but not without years of heavy debate. It wasn’t until recent years when religion was made separate from science and it was implied that one could not believe in science AND religion (and vice versa). This is not true. By looking at religious practices like meditation, prayer and worship through the...
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