The Psychology of Religion and Coping
Theory, Research, Practice
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When faced with a crisis, why do some people turn to religion to help them cope, while others turn away? Is religious belief merely a defense of a form of denial? Is spirituality a help or a hindrance in times of stress? Building a much-needed bridge between two different worlds of thought and practice - religion and psychology - this volume sensitively interweaves theory with first-hand accounts, clinical insight, and scientific research.
The book underscores the need for greater sensitivity to religion and spirituality in the context of helping relationships, and suggests a range of ways that faith might be used more fully to help people in crisis.
Table of Contents
I. A Perspective on Religion
2. The Sacred and the Search for Significance
3. Religious Pathways and Religious Destinations
II. A Perspective on Coping
4. An Introduction to the Concept of Coping
5. The Flow of Coping
III. The Religion and Coping Connection
6. When People Turn to Religion: When They Turn Away
7. The Many Faces of Religion in Coping
8. Religion and the Mechanisms of Coping: The Conservation of Significance
9. Religion and the Mechanisms of Coping: The Transformation of Significance
IV. Evaluative and Practical Implications
10. Does It Work? Religion and the Outcomes of Coping
11. When Religion Fails: Problems of Integration in the Process of Coping
12. Putting Religion into Practice
'This volume may be the best book on the psychology of religion in a generation or more. Well written and clearly outlined, it is grounded on an immense foundation of empirical data.' - Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
'This thoroughly researched and well-written work should be on the reading list of every psychotherapist and counselor....Pargament is able in his concluding chapters to present very grounded and useful advice for how religious beliefs and experience could be better utilized in counseling situations, not only as immediate coping devices for current problems, but also as spurs to further psychological and emotional growth.' - Journal of Religion and Health
'As a textbook, The Psychology of Religion and Coping will provide students with a solid foundation and understanding of religion in the coping process ... It fills a deep gap in the psychological literature, which for years has neglected perhaps the most important and common way that people cope with stress.' - Harold G. Koenig, MD, MHSc
'A terrific book, especially for anyone who lives as closely to their own and others' search for meaning in stressful life experiences as chaplains do ... Belongs in the hands of every professional chaplain.' - National Association of of Catholic Chaplains
'A massive, scholarly, even-handed, level-headed book....It sets a new standard of excellence for works on religion and psychology.' - American Jounral of Psychiatry