Psychology in a Catholic Framework

Jeffrey B. Adams

in Teaching the Tradition

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795307
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932894 | DOI:
Psychology in a Catholic Framework

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Influencing students to take religious issues seriously entails the students themselves, the message, how the message is presented, and the faculty who present the message. Among emerging adults (students), 15 percent are “committed traditionalists,” about 15 percent reject religion, and about 33 percent are religiously indifferent. Students respond positively to science and personal experience. For this reason psychology can potentially play a strong role in influencing students, but few faculty teaching psychology are religious. Professionally psychologists are in one of three groups: some think religion and psychology are two separate spheres, some consider religious belief dangerous to psychological health, and some claim that both psychology and religion offer useful perspectives on what constitutes the good life. The group of psychologists who positively regard an exchange of perspectives between religious views and scientific psychological views is relatively small. Most students espouse scientism, which views only scientists as accurately describing reality. Scientism is self-contradictory, but it enjoys wide support. In order for students to trust faculty, they have to see faith and science integrated in faculty members. Thus a Catholic college must have a strong program to attract psychology teachers of this type.

Keywords: psychology; holiness; spiritual; religious; committed; Catholic; perspectivalist; scientism; integration

Chapter.  8977 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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