Psychology, Religion and Conversion
The psychology of religion entails the use of psychological techniques and informative structures to religious backgrounds, as well as to both nonreligious and religious individuals. The science has made numerous attempts to describe the content, foundation and the application of religious beliefs and behaviors. It is clear that many areas of religion remain unexplored by psychologists. Even though, spirituality and religion plays a vital role in the lives of people, it is still uncertain how religious beliefs lead to aftermaths that can be either negative or positive. Coping can be defined as a means or a way of finding significance during times of stress. For many people, the psychology of coping and religion is a dangerous thing. Although, it may be enticing to view religion as merely a way of coping with stress, this would not be a religion instigated by justice. Therefore, for these people conservation of significance and transformation of significance is not just reserved for crisis times. That is why coping can be said to be multidimensional (Pargament 33). Psychologists have found that when people are stressed out or when they face numerous social and psychological difficulties, they normally tend to turn to religion in order to cope with stressing issues. This interconnection of religion and individual behavior also remained unexplored. The dialogue between theology and psychology may essentially foster an immerse understanding that will benefit both fields. Therefore, the alleyways and outcomes that bring about these relationships still need an additional research (Long, Theodore &Jeffrey 65). For a long time, there has been debate and argument about the decline of religiousness, especially in the developed countries. Even though, activities of televangelist, cults or religious upheavals in different parts of the world make headlines, they are normally dismissed as being an abnormality in the world that is turning away from supernatural reality. Nevertheless, there are other indicators that are less theatrical and more refined that suggest that religion remains the most powerful force in the people's lives across the world (Long, Theodore &Jeffrey 65). All people in the world encounter critical moments in their lives. These moments may take the form of personal conflicts, family quarrels, employment problems, illnesses, financial troubles and even death. Moreover, people may encounter even larger social problems such as racism and poverty. Whether these conditions are expected or unexpected, long-lasting or short-lived, collective or individual, these critical moments normally force people beyond their capability. During these moments of crisis many people turn to religion in order to seek consolation (Stark, Rodney &William 122). The most dramatic sign of religion normally comes during times of stress. Psychologists believe that religion is usually closely tied to pivotal periods in the life of a human being. Sufferings, hardships and conflicts have been found to be the center of concern for prime religions in the world. All religions acknowledge the fact that religion can sometimes be terrifying. For instance, suffering is believed to be the first experience of existence in Buddhism. Suffering normally includes physical pain, negative changes, mental anguish and lack of freedom. In Judaism, suffering is usually acknowledged through celebration of oppression and slavery and commemoration of freedom, whilst in Christianity, suffering is presented through crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Stark, Rodney &William 122). Although religion has been considered as a source of the higher ethical desire for a long time, there is no need to look at the religion when striving to understand the origin of the moral value. This is explained by the fact that psychologists have recognized common moral sentimentalities such as compassion, love of...
Cited: Long, Theodore E, and Jeffrey K. Hadden. "Religious Conversion and the Concept of
Socialization: Integrating the Brainwashing and Drift Models." Journal for the Scientific
Study of Religion. 22.1 (1983): 1-14. Print.
Stark, Rodney, and William S. Bainbridge. A Theory of Religion. New York: P. Lang, 1987.
Pargament, Kenneth I. The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice.
New York: Guilford Press, 1997. Print.
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