PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION AND MENTAL HEALTH: SACRAMENT OF PENANCE IN PERSPECTIVE

3105 Words Feb 15th, 2014 13 Pages
PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION AND MENTAL HEALTH:
SACRAMENT OF PENANCE IN PERSPECTIVE
BY
OKOJIE EHINOMHEN PETER epo4escriva@yahoo.com January, 2014
INTRODUCTION
Between psychology and religion, any connection? For one who considers religion as having no manifest behaviour, the answer cannot be in the affirmative. As far as can be chronicled of man’s history, religion has always occupied and influenced human behaviour. Through history, we find scholars who at one point or the other made allusion to this fact. Some have argued from various perspectives or disciplines that man is a by nature a religious being. Karl
Marx is popular for his quote: “religion is the opium of the masses.” Psychology as a systematic study of human and animal
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And so the psychological dimension is essential to any useful and all-inclusive definition of religion.6 2

Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994), p. 108
Ibid., p. 109
4
M. E. McCullough, K. I. Pargament and C. E. Thoresen, (Eds.) Forgiveness: Theory, Research and Practice,
(New York: The Guilford Press, 2000), p. 3
5
Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism, p. 361
6
Ibid., p. 362
3

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2. THE QUESTION OF MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health is linked with human psychology. It describes a level of psychological wellbeing, or an absence of a mental disorder.7 It can also be defined as an expression of emotions, and as signifying a successful adaptation to a range of demands. It is largely viewed as a positive attribute, through which a person can reach stability. This understanding highlights emotional wellness as the capacity to live a full and creative life.
“In the fields of mental health, we can find little attention to the phenomenon of human forgiveness from leaders such as Carl Jung, Kara Horney, Alfred Adler, or Viktor Frankl.” 8
Notwithstanding, in dealing with mental health in its entirety, ideas founded on anthropological, educational, psychological, religious and sociological perspectives are relied upon.9 Pastoral counselor and mental health experts with religious interests made early attempts to articulate the role that forgiveness

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