Psychology of religion


Through lectures and seminars, this teaching aims to introduce to study of human religiosity and to demonstrate how different religious issues may be approached and understood from psychological perspective. Methodological emphasis is placed on applications of psychological models and tools to explain religious behaviour and phenomena. This is particularly interesting in the case of other traditions that do not share the modern Western conception of human being. With respect to content, this teaching will explore some aspects of conscious and unconscious mental functioning (on both the individual and collective level), as well as normal and pathological religious experience and behaviour.  

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Research in psychology of religion aims to describe and explain religious beliefs and behaviours, attitudes and representations, religious and spiritual practices of individuals. It approaches investigations through the use of psychological concepts and methods developed in social psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, cultural psychology and psychology of personality among others psychological sub-disciplines. Conducted in accord with the principles of scientific inquiry, this research aims to explore various forms of religiosity expressed in (and outside of) different religious traditions, especially in the contemporary world, but occurring at other times too. We focus our current research on four major areas, including:  

Drawings of gods: A Multicultural and Interdisciplinary Approach of Children’s Representations of Supernatural Agents (FNS)

Religion and spirituality of elderly people in times of COVID (FNS)

Spirituality and well-being in the elderly: needs, practices and institutional responses (Leenaards Foundation)

Spirituality in healthcare institution

Contemplative practices rooted in Buddhism and the stress response: A mixed-method study

Completed researches


Work of researchers headed by Prof.Pierre-Yves Brandt

Association Suisse de Psychologie de la Religion (ASPsyRel)

The Swiss Association for the Psychology of Religion (ASPsyRel) aims to promote research in the field of psychology of religion; to encourage the publication, translation and distribution of psychological literature on this issue, to extend collaboration with similar institutions in Switzerland and other countries, to enhance cooperation among scholars, and to encourage dialogue between academics and practitioners on psychology, religion and spirituality issues; to organize and promote international colloquium of psychology of religion.  

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News & Events

>> 27-31 august 2013 : The 2013 Congress of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR)

>> 2014, des 21-22 mai 2014: « La spiritualité dans les institutions de soins et de réhabilitation : accompagnement et régulation dans la diversité »

International colloquium of psychology of religion (2006 - 2012)

Archive of past events

The book collection "Psychology and Spirituality"

The book collection « Psychology and Spirituality » is devoted more to the study of individual religious experience than it is to the study of group phenomena. It focuses especially on how religious beliefs and practices contribute to the psychological construction of individual identity. The books of this series are more concerned with spirituality and religiosity than with religion.

Related Resources 



The Congress of IAPR, 27-30 August 2013

The book collection "Psychology and Spirituality"