Psychology of Religion Home Page
Hello, and welcome to my Psychology of Religion pages! I have developed these pages to serve as a resource for people interested in psychological aspects of religious belief and behavior. My general philosophy is that you should find the information you need quickly and easily. For that reason, I have kept graphics to a minimum. These pages were begun in 1994, and have been updated periodically ever since. Please check back from time to time for future updates. Unless otherwise indicated, these pages are copyrighted. You may link to the pages if you wish, but you may not post them on another website.
This is a general introduction to the psychology of religion, for example, as it is studied by scientists in Division 36 of the American Psychological Association. Here you will find a description of what psychologists have learned about how religion influences people's lives.
There are two important things that you will not find here. One is detail. This is an introduction to psychology of religion, intended to whet your appetite for the topic. If you find something that you want to learn more about, you can learn more about with one of the books or organizations described on the Resources page. (If you have a specific question but don't find the answer here, you can send me an email and if I have time I'll reply with the best source that I'm aware of. Scroll down for the link.)
Another thing that you will not find here is advocacy for one religion over another. The psychologist's job is to try to understand how religion affects people, and not to advocate one religion or denomination over another. That doesn't mean that psychologists who study religion are not themselves religious. Some are, and some aren't. (I happen to be one who is religious.) My goal here is to give you an idea of what psychologists have found out about religious behavior and thought--not to tell you which religious group is "right." If you want to have someone tell you which church you should join, you'll need to look elsewhere!
For more information about what my pages have to offer, as well as an idea of what I am working on, read on! I've grouped them into four categories: general information and essays, resources such as books and professional organizations devoted to psychology and religion, pages devoted to new religious movements, and pages that focus on science and religion from a psychological perspective.
Department of Psychology
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA 30460-8041
Email Dr. Nielsen, but be sure to delete the _delete-this_ portion of my address before clicking "send".