Experiential Validity

Psychological Approaches to the Sacred


  • Tatjana Schnell Innsbruck University




Implicit Religion, meaning in life, spirituality, selftranscendence, sanctification, desecration


After giving a short introduction to Implicit Religion, this paper points out mutual benefits from linking psychology to the study of Implicit Religion. By employing accumulated knowledge of human cognition, behaviour and emotion, and making use of the apparatus of validated methodology, psychology can facilitate access to individual perceptions of the sacred and explore their consequences on attitudes, action, and personal well-being. Brief insights into the psychological research lines that are present in the Issue at hand are provided. Recent developments in research on meaning in life, selftranscendence, spirituality, and sanctification are described. Fruitful links to the study of Implicit Religion are proposed, suggesting further research on topics such as effects of implicit religiosity on personal, interpersonal, institutional and societal levels; the functioning of implicit-religious meaning systems in stressful circumstances of people’s lives; the distinction of horizontal and vertical selftranscendence, and overlaps in the discourses of spirituality and Implicit Religion.


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How to Cite

Schnell, T. (2011). Experiential Validity: Psychological Approaches to the Sacred. Implicit Religion, 14(4), 387–404. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.v14i4.387