Sacred Matters: Sanctification as a Vital Topic for the Psychology of Religion

By Kenneth I. Paragment, Annette Mahoney

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2005

In this article, we suggest that sacred matters represent a vital interest for the psychology of religion. We note that people can perceive virtually any aspect of their lives as having divine character and significance. Furthermore, people can sanctify objects theistically as a manifestation of their images, beliefs, or experiences of God and nontheistically by investing objects with qualities that characterize divinity. We discuss several implications of sanctification for human functioning: people invest a great deal of time and energy in sacred matters; people go to great lengths to preserve and protect whatever they perceive to be sacred; sacred aspects of life elicit spiritual emotions; sanctification offers a powerful personal and social resource that people can tap throughout their lives; and the loss of the sacred can have devastating effects. We conclude with a call for further studies of sacred matters and specific directions for research.

Topic: Theology, Spirituality, Psychology/Psychiatry, Scholarship, Study, Religion, Academic Research

Name of Publication: International Journal for the Psychology of Religion

Volume/Issue: Vol.15/No.3

Page Number(s): 179-198

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Genre: Scholarly Journal

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Paragment, Kenneth I. Mahoney, Annette. Sacred Matters: Sanctification as a Vital Topic for the Psychology of Religion. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.. 2005: 179-198. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5207


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