Volume 64, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268


The author argues that individual usage and appropriation of religious traditions has become increasingly important. Therefore, church leaders and pastors should pay more attention to the psychological functions of religion. On the one hand religion serves as a source of existential meaning-making and on the other hand as a powerful glue of group identities. By discussing the psychological theories of Erik H. Erikson, Hubert Hermans and James W. Jones, the Janus face of religion is highlighted. Religion may lead to intolerance and stereotyped behaviour (when it is only used to reduce identity anxiety and narcissistic problems), but it may also stimulate empathy and dialogical capacities.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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