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Disregarding (and Disrespecting?) Religion in Social Psychology: The Case of the The Handbook of Social Psychology (4th Edition)

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In spite of a burgeoning literature demonstrating the importance of religiousness as a determinant of a wide range of behaviors, social psychology continues to ignore this important construct. This article begins with the current spate of interest in religion in virtually the entire field of psychology, and then goes on to present a cursory history of the recent psychology of religion. Attention then turns to the most recent (4th) edition of The Handbook of Social Psychology (Gilbert, Fiske, & Lindzey 1998a), noting that the concept of religion is largely absent. It is concluded that there are disadvantages resulting in social psychology from this omission, including loss of explanatory power, and lack of engagement in important social issues.


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