Pastoral Psychology

ISSN: 0031-2789 (Print) 1573-6679 (Online)


Pastoral Psychology is one of the oldest and most well established academic journals in the field of psychology and religion/spirituality. Since 1950, the journal offers an international interdisciplinary forum for the publication of original papers that discuss the work of caring for, understanding, and exploring human beings as persons, in families, in small groups, and in community. This peer-reviewed journal brings the best of psychological, behavioral, social, and human sciences research into critical engagement with pastoral concerns (local, institutional, societal, political, international, and other).

For many, the word "pastoral" has a rather antique connotation. Originally derived from words referring to the role of elders and shepherds within the Christian community, the current meaning points to the vital role of ministers, priests, rabbis, chaplains, imams, and others involved in serving the needs of persons confronting the human predicament.

The journal’s contributors thoughtfully examine and discuss pastoral care and counseling, pastoral theology, psychology of religion, and the multidimensional interface between psychology and religion and the interface between psychology and spirituality. All theoretical perspectives are welcome, as the journal regularly publishes articles from a variety of schools of thought, including, but not limited to, psychoanalytic and other depth psychologies, experimental and empirical psychologies, humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, and cultural psychology. Insights from existential perspectives, gender studies, phenomenology, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies are welcome. Theoretical contributions that have direct or indirect relevance for practice, broadly construed, are especially desirable, as our intended audience includes not only academics and scholars in religion and psychology, but also religious and spiritual leaders, as well as others, such as chaplains, social workers, counselors, clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists.

The journal welcomes scholarship and reflection from all religious and spiritual traditions. In addition to scholarly research papers, the journal welcomes thoughtful essays on a wide range of issues and various genres of writing, including book reviews and film reviews. The community of scholars represented in its pages has demonstrated that the life challenges the journal seeks to address are universally shared, yet also reflect their national, community, and local variants.

Pastoral Psychology publishes the work of respected scholars, academics, and other professionals who have demonstrated expertise in their fields, but – being a forward-looking journal – also welcomes submissions by scholars and practitioners who are newer to their fields.

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