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Psychology of Religion

Why We Believe In Miracles

Posted 12.23.2013 | Healthy Living

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer Published: 12/23/2013 02:49 PM EST on LiveScience About three-quarters of Americans believe in the Virgin Birth, acco...

Obama's Brain Activity Map: Good News For The Psychology of Religion

Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D. | Posted 05.07.2013 | Religion
Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama signaled his interest in launching a renewed collective effort to explore the nature of the human brain. The more we learn about how the brain functions as a whole, the more we will learn about the psychological dimensions of religion.

God Cares About What I Care About

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

At the heart of humanity is a sometimes sweet, sometimes not-so-sweet narcissism that makes it almost impossible for us to get outside ourselves. In a similar vein, we tend to assume that God shares our perspective and priorities.

God's Emotions: What Does 'Jesus Loves Me' Actually Mean?

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

What is at the very heart of human desires? To be loved. And isn't it interesting that according to Christian teachings, love for us is the emotional core of the risen Jesus, the one who dwells in human hearts and hears the prayers of little children?

God's Emotions: Does God Get Angry?

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

You might think that if someone is powerful enough, say ... omnipotent, then anger would be unnecessary. And yet it makes a lot of sense that we humans would expect God to get angry.

God's Emotions: What Are Emotions Anyway? (Part 4)

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

The Bible writers spoke as if God has emotions, and most Christians through history have spoken and behaved as if this were true. But to understand what that means you have to understand what emotions are.

Do Christians Really Believe God Has Emotions?

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

Christian apologists argue for the possibility of the existence of a God that exists beyond the realm of human reason. But what they usually want is to create intellectual space for their belief in the person-god of the Bible.

The Psychology of Religion: Why Are Some of Us Attracted to It?

Michelle Roya Rad | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Michelle Roya Rad

The psychology of religion is a much needed area of research and study. Why? And if we need it, why do some feel anxiously attached to it while others completely detach and avoid it?

What An Inquiry Into God's Emotions Can (And Can't) Offer Us

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

Many believers never outgrow their childhood concept of God as a kind or mean daddy in the sky, one who needs our admiration, can be cajoled for special favors, and covers or beats our backs when we get ourselves into trouble.

God's Emotions: Why the Biblical God Is So Human

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

The idea that God has emotions seems so natural that most people who believe in gods never question it. The God of the Bible gets angry, has regrets, gets lonely, loves, has loyalties, is jealous, feels compassion, and is vindictive.

The Psychology of 'Us' vs. 'Them'

Michelle Roya Rad | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Michelle Roya Rad

Except those who are suffering from some form of radical fixations, psychopathology, trauma, personality disorders, or those who are simply uninformed...

God Never Fails

Valerie Tarico | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Valerie Tarico

I'm in Rwanda, winding south from the capital, Kigali, toward a village called Banda. Banda is on the edge of Nyungwe National Park, one of the last ...

Solar Powered Bibles for Haiti: Why Some Christians Feel Compelled to Exploit Disaster

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

While Doctors without Borders was struggling to get anesthetics for amputations into Haiti, an Albuquerque group queued up aid of their own sort: 600 solar powered talking Bibles.

Christian Belief Through The Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 6 of 6

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

Science is remarkably close to offering a full naturalistic explanation of individual religious experiences, everything from certain belief to moral indignation to mystical rapture to spiritual transformation.

Like Alcohol, Religion Disinhibits Violence, Doesn't Cause It

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

Religions elicit peak experiences like mystic euphoria, submission, love and joy. They also elicit protective reactions like anger and fear, the emotions most likely to underlie violence.

The Ethics of Insight

Carol Smaldino | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Carol Smaldino

Distraction is the redirection of attention from the social, economic, political, and climate emergencies that afflict us locally and globally.

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 5.75 of 6

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

Just like the born again Christians who feel transformed by faith, those who feel freed from faith want to share their discovery with those they love.

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 5.5 of 6

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

All of us are biased to seek information that fits what we already believe. Confirmatory evidence jumps out at us, and we find it emotionally appealing.

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 5 of 6

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

The need to adapt may seem at odds with the recent success of fundamentalism, but in actual fact, fundamentalism is an adaptation to a changing world.

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 4 of 6

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

The born again experience doesn't require a specific set of beliefs, but rather a specific social/emotional process; dogmas or explanations are secondary. It's not an experience unique to Christianity.

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 3 of 6

Valerie Tarico | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Valerie Tarico

As scientists learn more about how our brains work, certitude is coming to be seen as a vice rather than a virtue.