The Psychology of Religion
The essence of this assignment is to review the book titled Psychology of Religion. The book is a made of ten chapters. Below
are the brief outlines of the chapters:
Dwells on, General psychology under two headings which are: definition of psychology and branches of psychology.
The author defined psychology as the study of mind and how it works.
The author also highlighted the following as the branches of psychology: Child psychology; Personality psychology;
Clinic psychology or Medical Psychology; Social Psychology; Educational Psychology;
Industrial Psychology; Management Psychology and Positive Psychology.
Chapter two centres on the Introduction of Psychology of Religion, in this chapter, the author considers the Aims of Psychology
of Religion which he stated that Psychology of religion is focus at introducing the scientific method in the field of religion
in order to obtained knowledge that was based on impartial, objective, factual, testable and verifiable evidence.
Also in the same chapter, the author treated introduction to Psychology of religion where he further explained the
qualitative and quantitative research.
Chapter deals with what is Psychology of Religion? In the chapter, the author stressed the Phenomenon as a fact or an event in
a natural environment or human society, especially the one that is very difficult to understand fully. He argued further that
religion is a phenomenon with numerous ethnic religions and a few world religions. He mentioned the ethnic religions as Tiv
religion, Idoma religion, Igede religion, Etulo religion, Hausa religion…. The author mentioned the following as world religions
: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism and Confucianism. In addition in the chapter, the author
argued that minor ethnic religion is called Polytheism and the major world religion is called Monotheism. The author
concluded in this chapter that the central elements of religion are ideological existence and they include God, Devil, angels,
demons, spirits, and divinities. He said in chapter finally that he agrees with working definition of religion.
Chapter four treated the Psychology of Dreams; Biological and Religious Interpretations. In this chapter, the author argued
dream is a series of images, events and feelings that happen in a person’s mind while the person is asleep.
The author therefore discussed the following under chapter three: Biological Interpretation of Dreams;
Religious Interpretation of Dreams; and Dreams in Tiv Religion.
In this chapter, the writer treated Psychology of Religious Tolerance. Where he x-rayed the Background of Religious Tolerance
, in this, the author defined tolerance as unwillingness to accept ideas, behaviours, beliefs, and practices that are different from
the individual’s own. He stressed further that, the opposite of intolerance is tolerance. Also, the author treats the causes of
religious intolerance which he mentioned parochialism as one of the causes; he also looked at Religious tolerance which he
argued that it is the willingness to allow the people to do, say or belief in whatever they want.
Chapter six, the essayist discussed Psychology of Religious Terrorism under the following sub-headings: concept of terrorism
concept of religious terrorism; aims of religious terrorism; organisational structure of terrorism; operational tactics of
terrorism; combat weapons of religious terrorism; solutions to religious terrorism.
This chapter is grounded on psychology of Christian marriage. Under this chapter, the following sub-topics were treated:
Origins of marriage-a biblical perspectives; objectives of Christian marriage-a perspective on responsibilities; sources of
marital problems- crises and divorce; Homosexual marriage; Arguments against homosexual marriage.
This chapter on the other hand is builds on the Psychology of Political Religion. Here, the author looked at the meaning of
politics; meaning of politic religion; political theocracy; human rights- honour and respect for human dignity; types of
theocratic government; problems of theocratic governments; democratic government; democratic and credible elections.
In chapter nine, the psychology of economic religion is addressed. The writer argued that the term economy may be
pronounced in our present conversation as “ikonomi”. This is intended to help our less learned readers. He therefore said that
economy is the availability of natural resources…the author further mentioned the following as the components of economy
Goods and services; money and property; wealth and riches; poverty and the poor; kingdom of God. Also, in this chapter,
the essayist treats Economy of Religion. In here, the author ascertain whether riches or money evil in itself.
Chapter ten which is the last chapter of the book centres on Research Methods: A Psychological Perspective. In this chapter,
the author defined method as a particular way, style or manner of doing something. Also in this chapter, the author treats the
types of research which include: exploratory research, descriptive research, qualitative research, and quantitative research.
He also explained Research methods for investigations, research methods for biblical studies, sample and sampling techniques
and hypothesis. The author defined hypothesis as an idea or an explanation that has not yet been proved to be true or correct
. He also defined theory as a formal set of ideas that is intended to explain why something happens or exist.
Shortcomings of the Book
In chapter three, the author titled “What is psychology of religion? But in the course of examined it, he did not talk about the
aspect of psychology of religion as a concept but rather, focuses on the meaning of religion.
There are few typographical errors in the book, for instance at the table of content, under chapter six, the author wrote weapons
instead of weapons. Also the author of this book did not establish a straight forward method of writing. Most of his
explanations were repetitions.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In spite of the few shortcomings of the book, I write to recommend the author of this book, Psychology of Religion by
Akpenpuun Dzurgba for his pen is scaring and also to those who in one way of the other has also contributed greatly to the
success of this book, a job well done to them. Haven gone through the book thoroughly and carefully over and over, I therefore
appreciate the writer for a wonderful work. The significance of this book cannot be overestimated as far as our society and its
morality is concern. The book has been structured in a way that even those in the primary school can read and understand.
The author invested his time to explain all the complex words, making the entire work simple for easy to consume and
regurgitate. I find this book a very useful material for students, teachers and those seeking knowledge of psychology of religion
. This is a wonder piece for every living soul.