Ralph W. Hood, Jr.

Handbook of Religious Experiences

Review by Tim Knepper, 2001

Hood, Ralph W. (ed.). A Handbook of Religious Experience. Religious Education Press, 1995.

(Note: The Handbook of Religious Experience merits review in greater detail. Until such time as someone writes a more detailed review, this cursory effort will have to suffice.)

The goal of the Handbook of Religious Experiences is simply that of providing an authoritative summary of what contemporary psychology understands about religious experience.  To this end, editor Ralph W. Hood, Jr. called upon twenty-seven of the leading scholars of psychology of religion.  Their essays are compiled under seven main headings: (1) Faith Traditions and Religious Experience (Judaism; Catholicism; Protestantism; Islam; Buddhism; Hinduism); (2) The Broader Context of Religious Experience (Philosophy; Sociology; Phenomenology); (3) Depth Psychologies and Religious Experience (Freudian; Jungian; Object Relations); (4) Major Psychological Orientations and Religious Experience (Developmental Theory; (5) Cognitive Theory; Affective Theory; Behavioral Theory); (6) Specific Psychological Perspectives and Religious Experience (Role Theory; Attribution Theory; Attachment Theory); (7) Specialty Psychological Concerns and Religious Experience (The Body; Transpersonal Theory; Feminist Theory); Education and Facilitation of Religious Experience.