What is Religion? (03:01)
Several experts define religion and its purpose. A shared belief in a divine power distinguishes the secular and the sacred.
Personal Perspective (03:13)
Psychology of religion focuses on personal religious experiences and beliefs. Dr. Ralph Hood considers the function of religion. See statistics on the five leading world religions; they share a universal moral imperative.
Psychological Benefits of Religion (04:49)
Religion offers explanations for what happens after death. Psychologists study how religion affects people's thoughts and behaviors. Experts discuss the God concept.
Understanding Faith (02:19)
Experts discuss the god concept and what it means when bad things happen; human response depends on one's perception of God.
Religious leaders facilitated praying to gods for favors and assuaging fears. Gutenberg's printing press and the scientific Renaissance undermined the authority of traditional religious institutions.
"Varieties of Religious Experience" (02:02)
William James' book highlights religion based on personal experience; mysticism is the root of all religion.
Does God Exist? (03:45)
Sigmund Freud believed religion was an illusion. Experts discuss the need of humans to be part of the ideal and the different perspectives of Freud and Carl Jung; Jung's ideals are relevant today.
Achieving Transcendence (03:32)
Abraham Maslow found self-actualized individuals often had transcendental episodes. Altered states and transcendence are desired components of religious practice. The use of drugs is a controversial issue in the psychology of religion.
Religious Motivation (03:31)
Gordon Allport's orientation scale quantifies the relative value of intrinsic and extrinsic religious attitudes and beliefs. Albert Ellis believed that deifying a supernatural entity harmed mental health. Experts consider morality and social attitudes.
Faith Communities and Rituals (03:37)
Alfred Adler believed religion helped people overcome feelings of inferiority. Experts discuss the motivation of religious practices. Erik Erikson studied the importance of religious belief on personality development; rituals contain verbal and non-verbal elements.
Mass Psychology (02:37)
Religious rituals among fanatics can lead to murder and suicide for good of the faith. Experts consider religious practices of cult members. Psychology is a form of religion to some people.
Credits: Psychology of Religion (00:42)
Credits: Psychology of Religion
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