Defining Religion: Strategies and Reflection on an Elusive Figure

Religion to date has eluded adequate definition. This article explores the issue of defining religion in terms of different strategies employed that acknowledge the difficulties of definition. The history of the relations of psychology to religion, and in turn of science to religion, is discussed as one such strategy. A second strategy of rich description in place of a definition is examined, while the practice of operational definition within experimental psychology is evaluated as a third strategy. How these strategies provide insight into religion in lieu of an overarching description is discussed, well the lessons to be learned if these strategies are understood reflexively, as pointing back to the scientific inquiry are summarized.

Peet, C. (2005). Defining religion: Strategies and reflections on an elusive figure. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 24 (2), 105-112.

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