Religious and Spiritual Conflicts: A Psychological Perspective

Noth, Isabelle; Lampe, Jessica (2020). Religious and Spiritual Conflicts: A Psychological Perspective. Pastoral psychology, 69(2), pp. 135-147. Springer 10.1007/s11089-020-00900-x

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We present a brief history of research on religious and spiritual struggles and of the development of their typology and measurement by means of the Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale (Exline, Pargament, Grubbs, & Yali, 2014). Following a terminological clarification of the terms religiousness and spirituality, which are often used interchangeably, an overview of the current state of research in the field of religious and spiritual conflicts is given on the basis of fundamental contributions, especially by one of the main pioneers in this field, the US-American psychologist Julie Juola Exline. With research so far having most extensively focused on American samples, various cultural and social backgrounds are recently starting to be explored, as it cannot be assumed that results from one society can be readily transferred to other, e.g., more secular, societies. The article concludes with a discussion of the findings and an outlook on research desiderata, especially for the European context, where a lack of data is still evident.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Practical Theology
01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology [discontinued] > Institute of Practical Theology [discontinued] > Pastoral Care, Psychology of Religion and Religious Education [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Noth, Isabelle, Lampe, Jessica Frances


200 Religion > 250 Christian pastoral practice & religious orders








Isabelle Carol Noth

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2019 10:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:28

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

religious conflict, religious struggle, spiritual conflict, spiritual struggle, the religious and spiritual struggles scale (RSS Scale)




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