Article

Progress in Physics and Psychological Science Affects the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

Everett L. Worthington

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729920
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199729920.013.0004

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Progress in Physics and Psychological Science Affects the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

Preview

In the present chapter, I argue that general culture is strongly influenced by three assumptions that have derived from modern science. These include the following: (1) Big numbers in time and space make anything thought to be statistically possible to eventually be thought of as likely. (2) We can be optimistic that this will eventuate in progress. (3) Life is all about relationships. The main implication of these assumptions is that the psychology of religion will soon become the psychology of religion and spirituality. Based on a review of quantum mechanics and cosmology, I suggested that there are four types of spirituality: (a) religious spirituality, (b) human spirituality, (c) nature or environment spirituality, and (d) cosmos spirituality (or transcendent spirituality). Each of these is defined in terms of close or intimate connection or relationship with a different object, and each has been formed primarily by the wonder, awe, and lack of determinancy found in different fields of study—theology, psychological science, biological science, and physics, respectively.

Keywords: religion; spirituality; physics; neuroscience; psychology; optimism; consciousness

Article.  11622 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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