Skip to main content

Module

PSY3026 : Psychology of Religion

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Patrick Rosenkranz
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Aims:
•To introduce students to the fields of psychology of religion as well as the new cognitive science of religion.
•To guide students in developing knowledge and insight into the various ways psychologists study religion and the associated theories.
•To encourage critical evaluation of the main research methods and findings.
•To provide an academic environment for discussion of issues and topics in the psychology of religion.

Summary:

Religion and spirituality are fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. The psychology of religion is concerned with the causes and consequences of religious and spiritual beliefs. The module will cover the variety of psychological approaches that have been taken to explain different aspects of religion and spirituality. The themes and topics of this course are presented through interactive lectures. Discussion of issues and ideas are encouraged throughout.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins with a general overview over the social, cultural and historical background to the psychological study of religion. We will then start our investigation by looking at the biological and evolutionary underpinnings that form the natural foundations of religious belief and behaviour. Based on this, we will explore the findings of the cognitive science of religion and study how psychologists use experimental and observational methods to investigate religious cognition and the cognitive development of religion across the lifespan. Furthermore, we will consider individual differences in religious belief and the social psychological theories that seek to explain these. Finally, we will look at religious and mystical experiences and investigate how psychologists can study these highly subjective accounts of experiencing a transcendent reality.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable