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MA Psychology of Religion - At the institution - Kensington and Chelsea - Greater London
- To provide a foundation in Psychology of Religion by introducing students to a range of different psychological approaches to the study of religion; - To appreciate some aspects of the history of the field and how that history has influenced contemporary approaches to research in the context of religious pluralism; - To provide the conceptual tools necessary for insight into the processes and meanings of religious experience, belief and behaviour in the lives of individuals and groups; - To enable students to develop a critical and evaluative understanding of different approaches to the psychological study of religion through the options selected; - To develop a capacity to present a detailed study of particular topics; - To develop a perspective and to undertake research in the psychology of religion at an appropriate level.
The programme is intended to be of interest to a wide group of people: teachers of religious education, nurses and mental health professionals, palliative and pastoral care workers, parish counsellors, pastoral assistants, priests and ministers of religion. It is especially suited to those who are trained in psychology or psychotherapy, but is also well suited to those who have an academic background in theology or religious studies and wish to deepen their understanding of how psychology can contribute to these disciplines and their associated areas of practice.
MA Psychology of Religion
The programme introduces students to the psychological study of religion through a critical and reflective investigation of major psychological approaches to understanding religious beliefs, values and behaviour from the late nineteenth century. It is a ‘Psychology of religion’ degree rather than a ‘religious psychology’ degree – that is, it approaches religion from the standpoint of psychology, without making any assumptions about particular religious truths and values, and asks what psychology can offer to our understanding of people’s religious beliefs, values, and behaviour. Its contemporary relevance and focus is prompted by rapid social, cultural and technological change, by attempts to understand religious pluralism in modern society and the emergence of conflicts internationally wherein religious outlooks, beliefs and values are constitutive factors. In addressing these issues, the programme explores personal religious experience, the relationship between religious belief and behaviour, and between religion, mental health and well-being generally, and the importance of social, contextual and cultural factors in religious development. It provides an important link between psychology as a social or human science, the different religious traditions and the practice of contemporary theology and philosophy. It offers the possibility of specialisation unavailable elsewhere
Compulsory Core Module:
-Psychology of Religion
Optional modules (choose 3)
-Empirical approaches to the Psychology of Religion
-Psychological Perspectives on Religious Development
-Mental Health, Religion and Culture
-Depth Psychology and Spirituality
-Jung and the Post-Jungians
-East Meets West
-Social Psychology of Religion
-Hermeneutics and Psychology of Religion