2-Volume Set
• Volume 1: Context, Theory, and Research
• Volume 2: An Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality


This two-volume handbook presents the most comprehensive coverage of the current state of the psychology of religion and spirituality. It introduces a new integrative paradigm for this rapidly growing and diverse field. This paradigm sheds light on the many purposes religion serves, the rich variety of religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, and the capacity of religion and spirituality to do both good and harm.

The integrative paradigm encourages psychologists to attend to the ways religion and spirituality are expressed not only in individual lives, but also in the lives of couples, families, institutions, communities, and cultures. The handbook documents how the psychology of religion and spirituality is building on its theoretical and empirical foundation to encompass practice.

The chapters in this handbook provide in-depth and varied perspectives of leading scholars and practitioners on the most vital questions in the field:

  • What does it mean to say someone is religious or spiritual?
  • Why are people religious and spiritual?
  • How are people affected by the diverse ways they experience and express their faith?
  • How are religion and spirituality shaped and manifested across different ages, ethnicities, religious traditions, and cultures?
  • How can psychologists distinguish constructive from destructive forms of religion and spirituality?
  • How can psychologists integrate religion and spirituality within various models of assessment and treatment?
  • At a broader level, how can psychologists integrate knowledge about religion and spirituality more fully into efforts to address the most significant personal, social, and cultural problems of our day?
  • In what ways might psychologists of religion and spirituality contribute to the full variety of human institutions — mental health, medical, educational, correctional, military, workplace, and communal?
  • And what distinctive contributions can the psychology of religion and spirituality make to mainstream psychological theory, research, and practice?
Table of Contents

Volume 1: Context, Theory, and Research

Editorial Board

About the Editor-in-Chief


Series Preface


I. Setting the Stage: Themes, Contexts, Measures, and Methodology

  1. Envisioning an Integrative Paradigm for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
    Kenneth I. Pargament, Annette Mahoney, Julie J. Exline, James W. Jones, and Edward P. Shafranske
  2. The Social Context of Religion and Spirituality in the United States
    Christopher G. Ellison and Michael J. McFarland
  3. Measurement in the Psychology of Religiousness and Spirituality: Existing Measures and New Frontiers
    Peter C. Hill and Evonne Edwards
  4. Methodological Diversity in the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
    Ralph W. Hood Jr.


II. Why People Are Religious and Spiritual: Explanatory Models

  1. Sacred Armor: Religion's Role as a Buffer Against the Anxieties of Life and the Fear of Death
    Melissa Soenke, Mark J. Landau, and Jeff Greenberg
  2. Religion, Self-Control, and Self-Regulation: How and Why Are They Related?
    Michael E. McCullough and Evan C. Carter
  3. Religion, Spirituality, and Attachment
    Pehr Granqvist and Lee A. Kirkpatrick
  4. Why Religion? Meaning as Motivation
    Crystal L. Park, Donald Edmondson, and Amy Hale-Smith
  5. Spirituality, Religiousness, and Personality: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Applications
    Ralph L. Piedmont and Teresa A. Wilkins
  6. Spiritual Modeling and the Social Learning of Spirituality and Religion
    Doug Oman
  7. The Neurophysiology of Religious Experience
    Joanna Maselko
  8. Cognition, Evolution, and Religion
    Justin L. Barrett and Bonnie Poon Zahl
  9. Religion, Spirituality, and Culture: Clarifying the Direction of Effects
    Kate Miriam Loewenthal
  10. Searching for the Sacred: Toward a Nonreductionistic Theory of Spirituality
    Kenneth I. Pargament


III. How People Are Religious and Spiritual: Expressions and Experiences

  1. God Images and the Sacred
    Todd W. Hall and Annie M. Fujikawa
  2. Prayer: A Review of the Empirical Literature
    Kevin L. Ladd and Bernard Spilka
  3. Contemporary Spiritual Meditation: Practices and Outcomes
    Amy B. Wachholtz and Elizabeth T. Austin
  4. Rituals and Practices
    Ellen L. Idler
  5. Religious and Spiritual Coping: Current Theory and Research
    Terry Lynn Gall and Manal Guirguis-Younger
  6. The Spirituality of Us: Relational Spirituality in the Context of Family Relationships
    Annette Mahoney
  7. Mystical Experience: Conceptualizations, Measurement, and Correlates
    Ralph W. Hood Jr. and Leslie J. Francis
  8. Spiritual Experience: Conversion and Transformation
    Steven J. Sandage and Shane P. Moe
  9. The Virtues: Gratitude and Forgiveness
    Robert D. Carlisle and Jo-Ann Tsang
  10. Religion, Spirituality, and Altruism
    Vassilis Saroglou
  11. Religious and Spiritual Struggles
    Julie J. Exline
  12. Religion and Evil in the Context of Genocide
    James E. Waller


IV. Who Is Religious and Spiritual: Specific Populations

  1. The Nature and Functions of Religion and Spirituality in Children
    Chris J. Boyatzis
  2. Searching for the Sacred: Religion, Spirituality, and Adolescent Development
    Pamela Ebstyne King, Jenel Sánchez Ramos, and Casey Erin Clardy
  3. Religious Involvement in the Later Years of Life
    Neal Krause
  4. Faith and the Sacred in African American Life
    Jacqueline S. Mattis and Nyasha A. Grayman-Simpson
  5. The Spiritual and Sacred Among North American Indians and Alaska Natives: Mystery, Wholeness, and Connectedness in a Relational World
    Jeff King and Joseph E. Trimble
  6. Asian American Spirituality and Religion: Inherent Diversity, Uniqueness, and Long-Lasting Psychological Influences
    Amy L. Ai, Jeffrey P. Bjorck, Hoa B. Appel, and Bu Huang
  7. Religion and Spirituality in Latino Life in the United States
    Joan Koss-Chioino
  8. Unlikely Congregation: Gay and Lesbian Persons of Faith in Contemporary U.S. Culture
    Edouard Fontenot
  9. Buddhism: A Blend of Religion, Spirituality, and Psychology
    Jean Kristeller and Lobsang Rapgay
  10. What Does It Mean to Be a Hindu? A Review of Common Hindu Beliefs and Practices and Their Implications for Health
    Nalini Tarakeshwar
  11. The Religion, Spirituality, and Psychology of Jews
    Adam B. Cohen, Benjamin J. Gorvine, and Harold Gorvine
  12. The Psychology of Islam: Current Empirically Based Knowledge, Potential Challenges, and Directions for Future Research
    Hisham Abu-Raiya
  13. The Christian Religion: A Theological and Psychological Review
    Richard Beck and Andrea D. Haugen
  14. Atheists, Agnostics, and Apostates
    Heinz Streib and Constantin Klein
  15. Charismatic Groups and Cults: A Psychological and Social Analysis
    Marc Galanter


Volume 2: An Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

Editorial Board

I. Introduction to an Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

  1. From Research to Practice: Toward an Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
    Kenneth I. Pargament, Annette Mahoney, Edward P. Shafranske, Julie J. Exline, and James W. Jones
  2. Religious and Spiritual Beliefs, Affiliations, and Practices of Psychologists
    Edward P. Shafranske and Jeremy P. Cummings
  3. Value and Ethical Issues: The Interface Between Psychology and Religion
    Mark A. Yarhouse and Veronica Johnson
  4. Models of Healthy and Unhealthy Religion and Spirituality
    Brian J. Zinnbauer


II. Religion and Spirituality From the Perspective of Major Orientations to Change

  1. Assessing Spirituality and Religion in the Context of Counseling and Psychotherapy
    David R. Hodge
  2. Addressing Religion and Spirituality in Treatment From a Psychodynamic Perspective
    Ana-Maria Rizzuto and Edward P. Shafranske
  3. Jung's Approach to Spirituality and Religion
    Lionel Corbett
  4. Addressing Religion and Spirituality From a Cognitive–Behavioral Perspective
    Siang-Yang Tan
  5. Religion and Spirituality: A Family Systems Perspective in Clinical Practice
    Froma Walsh
  6. Mindful Awareness, Spirituality, and Psychotherapy
    Eric R. Bergemann, Madeleine W. Siegel, Marvin G. Belzer, Daniel J. Siegel, and Margaret Feuille
  7. Distinctive Approaches to Religion and Spirituality: Pastoral Counseling, Spiritual Direction, and Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy
    Len Sperry


III. Religion and Spirituality Applied to Specific Problems

  1. Religion, Spirituality, Depression, and Anxiety: Theory, Research, and Practice
    Simon Dein
  2. Religion, Spirituality, and Severe Mental Disorder: From Research to Clinical Practice
    Sylvia Mohr
  3. Religion and Spirituality in Coping With Acute and Chronic Illness
    Harold G. Koenig
  4. Addiction and the Search for the Sacred: Religion, Spirituality, and the Origins and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
    Thomas J. Johnson
  5. Religiousness and Spirituality in the Etiology and Treatment of Eating Disorders
    P. Scott Richards, Sarah L. Weinberger-Litman, Sara Susov, and Michael E. Berrett
  6. Spirituality, Religion, and Sexual Trauma: Integrating Research, Theory, and Clinical Practice
    Nichole A. Murray-Swank and Lynn C. Waelde
  7. The Psychology of Contemporary Religious Violence: A Multidimensional Approach
    James W. Jones
  8. Religious and Spiritual Dimensions of Traumatic Violence
    Roger D. Fallot and Andrea K. Blanch
  9. An Applied Integrative Approach to Exploring How Religion and Spirituality Contribute to or Counteract Prejudice and Discrimination
    Carrie Doehring
  10. The Interface Among Spirituality, Religion, and Illness in Families of Children With Special Health Care Needs
    Sian Cotton, Michael S. Yi, and Jerren C. Weekes
  11. Spiritual and Religious Problems: Integrating Theory and Clinical Practice
    Aaron Murray-Swank and Nichole A. Murray-Swank
  12. Faith and Health Behavior: The Role of the African American Church in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    Marlyn Allicock, Ken Resnicow, Elizabeth Gerken Hooten, and Marci K. Campbell
  13. Can Religion and Spirituality Enhance Prevention Programs for Couples?
    Frank D. Fincham and Steven R. H. Beach
  14. The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Positive Psychology Interventions
    Mark S. Rye, Nathaniel G. Wade, Amanda M. Fleri, and Julia E. M. Kidwell


IV. Religion and Spirituality Applied to Specific Contexts

  1. Consultation With Religious Institutions
    Thomas G. Plante
  2. Addressing Religion and Spirituality in Healthcare Systems
    Michelle J. Pearce
  3. Addressing Religion and Spirituality in Correctional Settings: The Role of Faith-Based Prison Programs
    Byron R. Johnson
  4. Addressing Religion and Spirituality in Military Settings and Veterans' Services
    David W. Foy, Kent D. Drescher, and Mark W. Smith
  5. Addressing Religion and Spirituality in Educational Settings
    Alyssa Bryant Rockenbach and Tyler Townsend
  6. Addressing Religion and Spirituality in the Workplace
    Stephen T. Carroll
  7. Addressing Religion and Psychology in Communities: The Congregation as Intervention Site, Community Resource, and Community Influence
    Kenneth I. Maton, Mariano R. Sto. Domingo, and Anna M. L. Westin


V. Future Directions for an Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

  1. Pathways Toward Graduate Training in the Clinical Psychology of Religion and Spirituality: A Spiritual Competencies Model
    William Hathaway
  2. Conducting Empirical Research on Religiously Accommodative Interventions
    Everett L. Worthington Jr., Joshua N. Hook, Don E. Davis, Aubrey L. Gartner, and David J. Jennings II


Editor Bio

Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, is professor of clinical psychology at Bowling Green State University, and distinguished scholar at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine. He has also served as adjunct professor in the School of Theology at Boston University and as distinguished visiting professor at Lackland Air Force Base Medical Center.

Dr. Pargament has been a leading figure in the dramatic resurgence of attention to religion and spirituality by social scientists and practitioners over the past 35 years. Many of his more than 200 published studies have focused on people dealing with trauma.

Dr. Pargament has delineated the variety of ways, helpful and harmful, religion expresses itself in times of stress, and his measure of religious coping, the Religious Coping Inventory (RCOPE), is the standard in the field. His 1997 book, The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice was described by the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic as "the best book on the psychology of religion in a generation or more."

In 1987 Dr. Pargament won the William James Award for excellence in research from APA Division 36 (Society for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality). He is coeditor of Mental Health, Religion, and Culture and sits on the editorial boards or editorial consultant to more than 30 journals. In 2009, he received the Oskar Pfitzer Award from the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of his research and practical efforts to understand and enhance the links between religion, spirituality, and mental health. In 2012, he received the National Samaritan Institute Award for his contributions to human health and growth.

A practicing clinical psychologist himself, Dr. Pargament has long been interested in expanding the field beyond research to practice. He and his colleagues have designed and tested a number of spiritually integrated interventions. This work culminated in his 2007 book, Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred, which is unique in the literature.

In addition, Dr. Pargament has been active in mentoring graduate students and colleagues in the field. In recognition of his commitment and contributions to teaching, he received the Virginia Staudt Sexton Mentoring Award from APA Division 36 in 2000 and the Outstanding Contributor to Graduate Education at Bowling Green State University in 2002. He recently received the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Ohio Psychological Association.

Dr. Pargament's research has garnered national and international media attention, including coverage by the London Times, Newsweek, the New York Times, Scientific American, and the Washington Post.

Reviews & Awards

This two-volume Handbook is a fine antidote to a relative dearth of professional education. Pargament and his associate editors have done a masterful job in creating coherence in this remarkably diverse set of chapters.
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

This is a beautifully edited work that successfully summarizes the state of the field. The chapters move seamlessly through an extraordinary territory. The authors use a gentle tone to invite colleagues to consider the facts and the uncertainties. Some might suggest that the time has come for those in this field to shout a little louder. But this collection of 130 voices — along with the echoes of James, Allport, and Jung — may be enough to begin altering the course of psychology.