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9 The Discontinuous History of the Psychology of Religion and Its Moving Target

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Chapter Summary

In his new book, Jacob Belzen describes the institutional history of the IAPR in terms of discontinuities and conflicts. This article takes these discontinuities as a starting point for a brief, sketchy reconstruction of some of the fundamental tensions and debates concerning the theoretical approach and subject matter in the history of the psychological study of religion. The article highlights the importance of the interplay between developments in theology and religious studies on the one hand, and the psychology of religion on the other hand, and the implications for shifting agendas as regards psychology of religion’s object, aim, topic, methods, and theories. The aim of the article is to show that this interplay not only had a huge impact on the developments in the psychology of religion but also helps us to understand and question current debates, trends, and problems in the field.



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