Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Male God Images

  • Annette PetersonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_399

God images are psychological constructs of thoughts and feelings, coalesced into a complex relational gestalt. God images were once critiqued by psychologists of religion as projections, personifications to be rejected. Now they are recognized by contemporary psychologists of religion for their ability to provide psychological strength and resilience. They provide structure and improve functioning on the individual and the social level by helping us internalize a moral code and a shared world view.

Male God images hold sway over the mainstream religious imagination, affecting conscious and unconscious cultural mores and theological traditions. Male God images are particularly effective in structuring and strengthening the individual and his/her society. Replicating the Western traditional father’s role of provider, role model, and disciplinarian on the cosmic stage, male God images provide a sense of belonging, safety, and a clear moral compass. However, these benefits are not without...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RiversideUSA