Religiosity and Psychopathology

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 515

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department Social Theology and Religious Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
Interests: philosophy of religion; psychology of religion; sociology of religion; comparative religious literature; psychology of religious art

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With this Volume we aspire to contribute to the scientific research of the relations between religion and human existence, as well as human societies. In our opinion, such a relationship can never be independent and isolated, because it involves social and cultural reactions.

We have noticed a gap or at least a rarity in current literature research for some years now (Tsitsigkos, Heresy and psychopathology, 1997, and Psychology of Sects, 2010), and that is why we decided to arouse the interest of the global academic community in this by composing this special Volume; this serious deficiency is found in the relationship between religiosity and psychopathology. Of course, starting with S. Freud, religion and religiosity have been criticized as being responsible for many types of neuroses, psychoses, or any type of mental illness. On the other hand, in recent years, there have been thousands of empirical studies to the contrary. However, today we are still witnessing—especially those of us who deal with Psychology, Sociology and the "human sciences" in general— of the unpleasant phenomenon, many religious or "faithful" people living and operating with obsessions, irrational thoughts or beliefs, manias, hysterical symptoms, and so on (jealousy, hatred, enmity, etc.), that virtually every religion denounces. We are talking about purely mental issues that require psychotherapeutic or psychiatric treatment.

Speaking of religious psychopathology, we are in the wider field of the psychology of religion since the psychology of religion can be practiced either with healthy or with patients mentally. Religious psychopathology— without being understood as a premise that every religion or religiosity is a neurosis or a mental illness—is legitimized to be studied by researchers in the Psychology of Religion, who delve into the whole society (initially indiscriminately). Therefore, in the first phase, at least, we cannot isolate the natural (health) "religion" from the abnormal (morbid or toxic).

The subjects of this Volume focus on the relationship between religiosity and personal and collective psychopathology. The authors have chosen among the mildest psychopathological conditions (stress, depression, hysteria, magical thinking, etc.) to the more serious (psychosomatic disorders, ideations, etc.).

The purpose of the papers in this volume is to find certain criteria to facilitate the diagnosis and therapeutic intervention of religious patients.

In a related search for studies on religious psychopathology (religiosity and mental health and psychopathology or mental disorder or mental illness) only 26 articles were found from 1997, whereas research on the relationship between religiosity and psychopathology yielded a total of only 19 studies. Of course, we do not claim that the contribution of this volume will bring the relevant scientific debate on this huge subject to an end, but only that it perhaps contributes to a small extent.

Prof. Dr. Spyros Tsitsigkos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • religious depression
  • demon possession
  • demon obsession
  • religious hysteria
  • magic

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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