Religion, Belief and Unbelief: A Psychological Study

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Rodopi, 1997 - 344 pages
This book focuses attention on the central elements of human religious existence. Vergote's primary aim and viewpoint are clear: to examine empirically and to interpret dynamically the psychological factors at work in the field of religion. Vergote consistently adheres to the position that psychology is neither philosophy nor theology and that its task is not to explain religion. In this work he situates religion as a cultural fact and studies how persons orient themselves to it, positively and/or negatively. Rather than emphasise and juxtapose belief and unbelief as alternative positions, he sees them as threads of experiences interwoven throughout the human existence of persons and institutions. In this context he studies motivations and their ambivalences, religious experiences and their ambiguities, conflicts between religious belief and unbelief, and the various expressions and practices of religion.
 

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Table des matières

Editorial Preface
11
The psychology of religion
23
Towards a dynamic psychology
31
MOTIVATIONS AND THEIR AMBIVALENCE
43
Desire at grips with impotence
54
Ethics and social motivation
88
Cognitive motivation and dogmatism
106
Religion as compensation
114
Druginduced religious experience
197
Conclusion
203
BELIEF AND UNBELIEF
207
The representation of God
216
The conflicts
232
Faith in the midst of a pluriform humanity
263
Conclusion
274
THE THREE
279

RELIGIOUS EXPERIEN
126
Theories of religion as an emotional experience
134
The religious perception of the world and the sense of the sacred
149
The quasiperception of the supernatural without perceptive
187
Rite
303
Ethics
332
POSTFACE
343
Droits d'auteur

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Page 21 - Without further ado, then, a religion is: (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
Page 14 - Peter L. Berger, The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967); and Peter L.
Page 15 - Fromm recognizes nontheistic as well as theistic religions and defines religion as "any system of thought and action shared by a group which gives the individual a frame of orientation and an object of devotion.

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