Advances in the Psychology of Religion by Michael Argyle (Eds.) PDF

By Michael Argyle (Eds.)

ISBN-10: 0080279481

ISBN-13: 9780080279480

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Freud's work on religion concentrates on the phenomena of mythology and ritual, while William James started with the phenomena of individual mystical experiences. This might easily be seen as a reflection of the different religious phenomena Freud and James were exposed to. We may be certain that it was the peculiar nature of Judaism, as a religion of legalistic, compulsive practices, that led Freud to his brilliant observations on the similarities between religious and individual compulsive behaviour (Freud, 1907).

The status of psychological explanations Having illustrated how anthropologists of religion have used psychology, I turn now to consider the validity of their psychological theorizing. The first issue to be settled is whether social anthropologists are justified in using psychological theories. This issue is raised by the fact, as I indicated at the beginning of the chapter, that anthropologists have often raised objections to using psychology. The main point I shall make is that although not all social anthropological accounts of religion need refer to psychological assumptions 42 A d v a n c e s in t h e Psychology of Religion and theories, the validity of using psychology is assured in that a range of questions cannot be adequately answered in a non-psychological fashion.

In every case the concept, or the problem, is discussed from the point of view of the halakha, often starting with Talmudic sources, and then studied from the point of view of psychology, mostly psychoanalysis. In many cases an attempt is made to show that Talmudic insights are anticipations of later psychological notions, and in all cases an attempt is made to reconcile the two traditions. Spero attempts to show that most of the good ideas in modern psychology were already known to Talmudic sages.

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Advances in the Psychology of Religion by Michael Argyle (Eds.)


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