A “Church” of Implicit Religion? A Study in Psychological Type Theory and Measurement
Keywords:Implicit Religion, psychological type, Ninian Smart, Carl Jung, psychology of religion
AbstractSince 1978, some of the key members of the “Bailey school of implicit religion,” along, always, with some first-timers, have congregated for a weekend conference during May at Denton Hall, to practise the study of implicit religion and to shape and discuss the findings of their research within that field. This paper argues that they can be conceptualized as themselves comprising some sort of a religious group, or as we might call it, a church. Drawing on psychological type theory to provide a theoretical framework and empirical methodology through which different religious expressions can be profiled, this study compares the psychological type profile of 31 members of the “church” of Implicit Religion with data from previous studies reporting the psychological type profile of 327 Anglican churchgoers and of 75 practising British Druids. All three of these varied traditions attract more introverts than extraverts and more judging types than perceiving types. While both Anglican congregations and Druidic festivals attract more feeling types than thinking types, the “church” of Implicit Religion is a church for thinking types. While Anglican congregations attract more sensing types than intuitive types, both Druidic festivals and the “church” of Implicit Religion provide a context for intuitive types. The dichotomous preferences within the “church” of Implicit Religion favour introversion (71%), intuition (77%), thinking (65%), and judging (74%). Indeed the combined INTJ preference accounts for 32% of the participants at the “Church of Implicit Religion”, compared with 2% of Anglican churchgoers, 11% of practising British Druids, and 1.4% of the British population. The distinctiveness of this INTJ profile may help to account for the rich diversity and strong individuality within the Church of Implicit Religion.
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