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Psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to religious traditions, as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals. The science attempts to accurately describe the details, origins, and uses of religious beliefs and behaviors. Although the psychology of religion first arose as a self-conscious discipline as recently as the late 19th century, all three of these tasks have a history going back many centuries before that.<ref name="Wulff, D. M. 2010 pp. 732">Wulff, D. M. (2010). Psychology of Religion. In D. A. Leeming, K. Madden, & S. Marian (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion (pp. 732–735). New York; London: Springer.</ref>

Many areas of religion remain unexplored by psychology. While religion and spirituality play a role in many people’s lives, it is uncertain how they lead to outcomes that are at times positive, and at other times negative. Thus, the pathways and outcomes that underlie these associations (and sometimes causations) need additional research. Continued dialogue between psychology and theology may foster greater understanding and benefit both fields.

In contrast to neurotheology, the psychology of religion studies only psychological rather than neural states.


Psychology of religion sections
Intro  Overview  History   Hypotheses on the role of religion    Psychometric approaches to religion    Developmental approaches to religion    Religion and prayer    Religion and ritual   Religion and health   Evolutionary and cognitive psychology of religion    Religion and drugs    Religion and meditation    Controversy   Other views   Religion and psychotherapy   Pastoral psychology   See also    References   Bibliography  External links  

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