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Showing posts with the label Psychology of Religion

Assessing Spirituality & Religiosity

  Assessing Spirituality & Religiosity: A Handbook Beliefs, Practices, Values, & Experiences The Assessment of Spirituality and Religiosity is a handbook for clinicians and researchers who explore this importance dimension of self-identity. More than 7 billion people express their spirituality as members of one of the world’s great religions. In recent decades, the assessment of religiosity and spirituality has filled journals with informative studies. This handbook aims to provide clinicians and researchers with a way to organize hundreds of these instruments. Reviews There are very, very few psychologists I admire as much as my long-time friend, Geoff Sutton. I emphasize long-time because I’ve had the opportunity to know Geoff and learn from him for almost 50 years. He’s a person of deep faith, psychotherapist, teacher, and independent scholar par excellence.  Assessing Spirituality & Religiosity: A Handbook , Geoff’s latest work, is near the pinnacle of his scholarl

Handbook Psychology of Religion 2nd Ed - Book Review

  Handbook of the Psychology       of Religion and Spirituality      2nd Ed. By    Raymond F. Paloutzian     & Crystal L. Parks, Eds. Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton As I write this review, world leaders, both secular and religious, have attempted to separate the heinous actions of murderous groups identifying with religion from the majority of people who practice their religion in peaceful ways. As the editors observe, the importance of religion and  spirituality hardly needs justification. The editors and authors of the thirty-three chapters clearly focus their attention on a psychological perspective without ignoring the contribution of sociologists and anthropologists. They accomplish this by focusing on two meta-themes, which the editors propose will take scholars beyond the endless attempts at formulating definitions of the terms religion and spirituality.  The first meta-theme views the study of religion in the context of meaning systems, which enable people to integrate th


Counseling and Psychotherapy       with Pentecostal and     Charismatic Christians By   Geoffrey W. Sutton Reviewed By    Various Reviewers “ Geoffrey W. Sutton has created THE authoritative source to help mental health professionals, lay helpers, and basically anyone understand people who adhere to Pentecostal and Charismatic practice, values, and beliefs.  Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christians constitute the fastest growth in worldwide Christianity.  The first part of the book can help all readers--regardless of profession or religious identity--understand people who live into that religion.  The second part of the book is a practical and insightful guide to effective helping for psychological difficulties.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeks to understand and help Pentecostals and Charismatics.” — Everett L. Worthington, Jr. , Commonwealth Professor Emeritus     (  BUY the  eBOOK on Google Books ********** “Counseling and Psychot

The Psychology of Religion -- A Book Review by Sutton

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION:  AN EMPIRICAL APPROACH (4th ed.)      By Ralph W. Hood,  Peter C. Hill, & Bernard Spilka. Reviewed by  Geoffrey W. Sutton This is the book I wish I had when taking my first course in the Psychology of Religion in the early 1970s.  I can certainly recommend this book to professors and to anyone who wants to learn more about the scientific study of religion. Perhaps my only advice would be to check out the latest edition. I read and taught from the fourth edition of this classic psychology of religion text, which provides an important survey of the state of empirical research in the psychology of religion and spirituality. When I wrote this review, I had just finished teaching a course titled the Psychology of Religion and was pleased I had chosen this text because of the comprehensive and balanced overview the authors offer.  All of the authors are psychological scientists. New to this edition is Peter Hill, Professor of Psycho

Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy for Trauma- A Book Review

SPIRITUALLY ORIENTED          PSYCHOTHERAPY    FOR TRAUMA Edited by Donald F. Walker,  Christine A. Courtois,  Jamie D. Aten Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton Publisher: American Psychological Association This book is an excellent resource for clinicians considering the spiritual concerns of people who have experienced trauma. The treatment of trauma has a long history. As clinicians who have treated people with trauma, we have learned many techniques and become acquainted with other options such as medication and therapeutic animals. However, the spiritual dimension has been somewhat neglected until recently. This book helps fill in the gap. The twelve chapters cover multiple topics beginning with an overview of spirituality and ethical considerations in psychotherapy for trauma. Other chapters offer insights into aspects of trauma where religion or spirituality may be a major concern such as spiritual struggles, the problem of evil, and changes in God-image link

The God Delusion - Religious Delusions and Violence -Book Review

THE GOD DELUSION    By Richard Dawkins Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton I heard cries and screams coming from a group of young women down the hall from my office. When I got up to take a look, a colleague explained they were praying for a woman possessed by a demon. Over the years, I have consulted on cases of people who reported being Jesus Christ or having personal encounters with supernatural beings. Often individuals and their families were in deep despair. And we live in an age when religious people destroy in the name of their faith. Supernatural experiences appear to impair rather than enhance well-being in some people. As a clinical psychologist, I approach reports of supernatural phenomena from a somewhat different perspective than does biologist, Richard Dawkins. I'm less concerned about a logical refutation than I am about the destructive power of faith-wielding combatants. ********** In The God Delusion , Dawkins leads an attack on

CAUGHT IN THE PULPIT: Leaving Belief Behind-a Review by Sutton

Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind    by   Daniel C. Dennett &    Linda LaScola Reviewed by      Geoffrey W. Sutton I recently spoke with a seminary student who mentioned his interest in deconversion. Having studied Psychology of Religion for decades, I'm familiar with the topic both as a clinician and scientist. The conversation reminded me of a book I reviewed a few years ago. It turns out the review was accepted for publication but I cannot find evidence that it appeared in print so here's the review with the removal of some text that would have been for the academic publication. ******** Have you ever listened to someone disclose their deep spiritual doubts? In Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Faith Behind , Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola systematically disclose and analyze the deconversion experiences of 35 clergy and seminary interviewees who participated in their qualitative study. Encouraged by a pilot study in 2010, the authors pursued a br