5/8 Dr Malik Badri “Religion, spirituality and psychology: Islamic perspective”
Psychology of religion
Strictly speaking, psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to the diverse contents of religious traditions as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals. The extraordinary range of methods and frameworks can be helpfully summed up regarding the classic distinction between the natural-scientific and human-scientific approaches: the first cluster proceeds by means of objective, quantitative, and preferably experimental procedures for testing hypotheses regarding the causal connections among the objects of one's study. In contrast, the human-scientific approach accesses the human world of experience using qualitative, phenomenological, and interpretive methods, with the goal of discerning meaningful rather than causal connections among the phenomena one seeks to understand. Psychologists of religion pursue three major projects: 1 systematic description, especially of religious contents, attitudes, experiences, and expressions; 2 explanation of the origins of religion, both in the history of the human race and in individual lives, taking into account a diversity of influences; and 3 mapping out the consequences of religious attitudes and conduct, both for the individual and for society at large. The psychology of religion first arose as a self-conscious discipline in the late 19th century, but all three of these tasks have a history going back many centuries before that. The challenge for the psychology of religion is essentially threefold: 1 to provide a thoroughgoing description of the objects of investigation, whether they be shared religious content e. The first, descriptive task naturally requires a clarification of one's terms—above all, the word religion.
The current paper presents literature relevant to the relationship of religiosity, spirituality, and personal beliefs with mental health and, in particular, anxiety disorders as an empirical narrative review, providing an overview on the most important and clinically relevant research results on the topic. However, scientific approaches to this field are complex and multidimensional, partly leading to poor operationalization, incomparable data, and contradictory results. Similar results could not be confidently replicated for other anxiety disorders. However, it is still unclear if these differences suggest a specific association with obsessive—compulsive traits and reflect deviating etiopathogenetic and cognitive aspects between obsessive—compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders, or if these results are biased through other factors. The relationship between religious and personal beliefs and mental health has been studied extensively, indicating considerable correlations among these variables. With respect to anxiety disorders, the empirical evidence is scarce and warranting of further research.
The past century has seen the relationship between psychology and religion progress from wary antagonists to strange bedfellows to complementary worldviews. Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality is designed as a text that reflects this history while illuminating the robust dialogue that continues to accompany it.