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  • Living reference work
  • © 2020

Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

  • A crucial new resource for the collaboration and mutual illumination of the fields of psychology and religion and their intersection

  • A comprehensive reference work that includes that broad spectrum of psychological approaches to understanding the form and content of religious experience

  • Entries drawn from forty different religious traditions, including modern world religions (e.g. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism) and older religious movements (e.g. African Animism, Egyptian, Greek, Gnostic, Native North American religions)

  • Provides the technical and phenomenological vocabulary that will enable researchers in the fields of psychology and religion to pursue collaboration and dialogue

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Table of contents (321 entries)

  1. Afro-Caribbean: Religion and Psychology

    • Patrice Natalie Delevante
  2. Allah, the Concept of

    • Naji Abi-Hashem
  3. Amaterasu

    • David Leeming
  4. Ambrose of Milan

    • Dan Mills
  5. Analytical Psychology

    • Claudia Nagel
  6. Ancestor Worship

    • Eswarappa Kasi, Gladis S. Mathew
  7. Anima and Animus

    • John Ryan Haule
  8. Animals in Yoruba Belief

    • Adewale Oluwole Owoseni
  9. Animatism

    • Kasi Eswarappa, Gladis S. Mathew
  10. Apocalypse

    • Charles B. Strozier
  11. Apollo

    • David A. Leeming
  12. Apollonian and Dionysian

    • David A. Leeming
  13. Archetypal Symbolism

    • Charlene P. E. Burns
  14. Archetype

    • Ann Casement
  15. Arminianism

    • Alroy M. Mascrenghe
  16. Art Therapy

    • B. A. Mulemi
  17. Attention

    • Bernardo Manzoni Palmeirim

About this book

The Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion offers a definitive and intellectually rigorous collection of psychological interpretations of the stories, rituals, motifs, symbols, doctrines, dogmas, and experiences of the world’s religious and mythological traditions. The Encyclopedia applies a wide range of psychological approaches to understanding the form and content of religious and spiritual experience, at the same time offering insight into the meanings of various symbols and themes of numerous religions. While there are reference works on religion and those on psychology, until now there has been no comprehensive encyclopedia that integrates psychology and religion in the context of current intellectual developments in the social/behavioral sciences. This Encyclopedia that integrates psychology and religion serves as a valuable user-friendly resource for libraries and professionals, and is of particular use to the growing community of researchers, academics, teachers, clergy, therapists, and counselors who are the real opinion leaders in the developing reintegration of religion and psychology. This Encyclopedia, interdisciplinary in approach, represents a rich new contribution to the development of human self-understanding.


  • psychology
  • religion
  • religious studies
  • philosophy of religion
  • philosophy


From the reviews:

"Written by a vast array of prominent experts, this multidisciplinary reference work is an authoritative and trusted source of information for all researchers and professionals interested in the fields of psychology and religion and their intersection. This encyclopedia is a milestone achievement of special interest to all those who wish to understand all aspects of the growing reintegration of psychology and religion."
-Harold G. Koenig, MD, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

"This remarkable encyclopedia will be a great asset for anyone interested in psychology and religion. Its range is impressive, the editing meticulous, and the mix of long and short entries makes the result more useful and appropriate for exploring topics in this field. I warmly commend the editors for their herculean efforts in producing this encyclopedia."
-Charles B. Strozier, Ph.D., Professor of History, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York

"Over the past several decades, the psychology and religion field has achieved a welcome independence from the more traditional enterprise of theology and psychological studies, and the brightness of its future is reflected in the many books and journal articles being written and published today. The appearance of this Encyclopedia is especially timely, for an encyclopedia provides invaluable information about the nature and scope of a field of studies that is inaccessible in any other way. The Co-Editors and the publisher deserve our profoundest thanks!"
-Donald Capps, Ph.D., William Harte Felmeth Professor of Pastoral Psychology, Princeton Theological Seminary

"I welcome the publication of the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion as the primary reference source for scholars, researchers, clinicians, and religious practitioners working within or across these fields. It is sure to meet a growing need for an integrated understanding of the relationship between spirituality and psychology across cultures, disciplines, and faiths. I look forward to using the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion to support both my academic research and clinical work in the area of spirituality and mental health."
-Jo Nash, Ph.D., MA, BA(Hons), PGDipEd, Lecturer in Mental Health, University of Sheffield, UK

"An extremely useful volume, this encyclopedia will be an invaluable aid to teachers in colleges, seminaries, and universities and should be made available to their students who will find themselves referring to it again and again. Exceptionally comprehensive."
- James W. Jones, Psy.D., Ph.D., Th.D., Professor of Religion and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University; Lecturer in Psychiatry and Religion, Union Theological Seminary

“Because no comparable encyclopedia on the interdisciplinary subject of psychology and religion is available, the editors fill a definite need with this work. … The bibliographies are excellent, and the cross-references are good … . Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above.” (S. M. Bahnaman, Choice, May, 2010)

“The Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion (EPR) is a first-of-its-kind reference work with the stated goal of providing ‘a crucial new resource for the collaboration and mutual illumination…[for] researchers, academics, teachers, clergy, counselors’ (v), libraries, and other professionals within the fields of both religion and psychology … . As a whole, the set should basically be viewed as another encyclopedia of psychology with a special emphasis on the religious and spiritual dimensions of life.” (Mark Hanson, Theological Librarianship, Vol. 3 (2), December, 2010)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Rhinebeck, USA

    David A. Leeming

About the editor

David A. Leeming, Ph.D., has taught courses in Myth, Religion, and Literature for many years and has published several books on this subject. He has previous experience in overseeing encyclopedia-type projects, including the Oxford Companion to World Mythology (fall 2005). Until recently he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Religion and Health  and Dean of Blanton Peale’s Graduate Institute. He is currently Interim President of the Blanton-Peale Institute.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

  • Editors: David A. Leeming

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Berlin, Heidelberg

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and Psychology, Reference Module Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Number of Pages: XXVI

  • Topics: History of Psychology, Religion, Philosophy of Religion