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Personality-profiles and religiosity

Lic. Peeters, Tim (Leuven, Belgium)



In psychology of religion, religiosity has been measured by the frequency of church-attendance or by measuring the belief in the existence of a transcendent reality. Whereas most world religions proclaim brotherly love to be the core of their religious message, history has shown us that religion has often been used as a justification of violence. This is probably the most important paradox within this research area. Some theoreticians even say religion is a major catalyst for prejudice, racism en so on. However Hutsebaut (1996; 1998; 2000) introduced a new approach to shed some light on the internal structure of religiosity, the above-mentioned paradox, and several other inconsistencies (Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers, 2003): the two-dimensional approach to religiosity (Duriez, 2002; Hutsebaut; Fontaine, Duriez, Luyten, & Hutsebaut, 2003).

This model (Fontaine et al., 2003) is measured by the Post-Critical Belief Scale, PCB (Duriez, Fontaine & Hutsebaut, 2002; Hutsebaut, 1996) and is based on the heuristic model of Wulff (1991, 1997). After an intensive study of different approaches of religion in psychology, Wulff (1991, 1997) developed a heuristic model that attempts to summaries the approaches in two orthogonal bipolar dimensions. On the one hen, the vertical axis in this model is the dimension of Exclusion versus Inclusion of Transcendence. By this axis Wulff tried to capture the distinction whether or not a participant is religious or spiritual. Hence, inclusion of transcendence refers to the participation and belief in a transcendent reality. On the other hen, the horizontal axis, the Literal versus Symbolic dimension, refers to

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