University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development (Review Article)

Bigger, Stephen (2007) Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development (Review Article). Journal of Beliefs & Values, 28 (1). pp. 91-94. ISSN 1361-7672


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This is a large volume with around 300 entries and 130 contributors, mostly from the USA. The editors
are child developmental psychologists. ‘Spiritual development’ is taken to be ‘aboutbecoming a whole person, someone who stands for something that defines and gives
meaning to being human…There is religion without spirituality and spirituality without
religion’ (p. xxiii). Religion is viewed as one route to spirituality, but not the only route. This article reviews the Encyclopedia entries, complains about many of the selection decisions (especially to promote belly dancing and crop circles and ignore Sikhism and the Bahai faith). It concludes that the combination of psychology and study of religions has not worked. It contains many worthwhile articles of broad interest on applied psychology, but extreme caution is needed regarding its entries on religion.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Author Posting. (c) Taylor & Francis, 2007.
This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution.
The definitive version was published in Journal of Beliefs & Values, Volume 28 Issue 1, April 2007.
doi:10.1080/13617670701251702 (

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: spiritual development, religious development, values, applied psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Depositing User: Stephen Bigger
Date Deposited: 04 May 2007 13:37
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:26

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