Brandon, Owen Rupert (1962) A study of religious orientations from the psychological point of view: an examination of the ideational content and patterning of the religious beliefs of groups of theological students and non-theological students, in relation to their upbringing, experience and education. Masters thesis, Durham University.
This work reports an investigation into human factors involved in religious attitudes, beliefs and experiences. The inquiry arises from problems encountered by the investigator in pastoral work, in the study of theology, and in ecumenical discussion. Its basic questions are: (l) To what degree do the subjects conform to a common pattern of religious belief? (2) To what degree are the separate items of their beliefs related to one another? (3) To what degree do subjects differ from one another in the patterning of their religious beliefs? (4) To what degree are the religious beliefs of the subjects related to their upbringing, their experience and personality needs, and their education? The methods of inquiry followed the familiar lines of empirical research, with Questionnaires and Tests specially devised for the purpose. The Subjects were 230 volunteer helpers, including 100 Anglican Theological Students, 50 Freechurch Theological Students, 40 Laymen, and 40 Women. The work is in three Parts. Part One outlines the problems which led to the inquiry, and details contributions made by earlier empirical studies. Part Two describes the methods employed and reports the findings in relation to factors in religious development, to the ideational content of the religious beliefs of the subjects, and to the belief-patterns of the various groups and sub-groups within the Sample. Part Three summarises the findings and seeks to relate them to current religious problems. As an exploratory study it draws attention to the main categories, or sub-items, of belief under each of the more important doctrines of the Christian Faith, and demonstrates the possibility of studying the religious orientations of individuals and of groups, and of ascertaining not only the ideational content but also the patterning of their beliefs. The evidence appears to suggest that upbringing is the most potent factor in religious development. Education and personality needs play an important but less prominent role. Sixty per cent of the subjects adhere in adult life both to the denomination and to the particular school of thought within the denomination in which they were brought up; 20% report a shift in theological emphasis resulting from their college studies; whilst 16% experienced a reorientation in respect of their theological beliefs, or changed their denominational affiliation, from motives of personal need or emotional attraction. The study illustrates the inwardness and personal nature of religion for the individual. It is submitted as a contribution in the field of the psychological study of religion.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Letters|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||14 Mar 2014 16:33|