History, Present Situation, and Problems of Chinese Psychology of Religion

Submitted by James Miller on Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:24
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TitleHistory, Present Situation, and Problems of Chinese Psychology of Religion
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsChen, Y., Wang J., Weng H., & Wang X.
JournalPastoral Psychology
Pagination641 - 654
Date Published2012
PublisherSpringer US
ISBN Number0031-2789
KeywordsHistory, Mainland China, Psychology of religion

There have been few research studies on the psychology of religion in Mainland China because of the “leftist” ideology that shaped the People’s Republic of China from its foundation until the introduction of reform and open policy. Since the 1980s, research in the field of psychology of religion in Mainland China has made remarkable progress. The main efforts include translating and introducing representative works from the former Soviet Union and the West, while theoretical studies have concentrated mainly on the origins, features, functions, and schools of psychology of religion. Researchers have developed new measurement tools based on local culture in psychology of religion. Empirical studies pay special attention to the relationship between religious belief and mental health, the features of religious thinking of the Chinese, the psychological state of professionals, and characteristic emotions of religious experiences as well as their correlation with biological processes. The problems that currently exist in the field in Mainland China include the following: lack of critical in-depth studies on the history of Western psychology of religion, absence of diversity in research methods, and disconnection of theoretical study from practical application. Obviously, these issues should influence the direction of future efforts.