Psychology, Christianity and Atheism

Why Psychology?

Firstly, Psychology has always been a passion for me since my gran used to sit me on her knee and tell me of her days as a Psychologist’s secretary writing up his case notes. I was determined to become a Psychologist ever since.

Secondly, I’ve lived about half my life as an Atheist and the other half as Christian. So I have first hand experience of how similar we are and yet how profoundly differently we see the world. So I’m interested in exploring the different ways in which Christians and Atheists perceive the world.

Thirdly, I think there’s a real lack of reflection and engagement with how the Christian worldview relates to Psychology and I hope this blog can help stimulate further discussion.

What topics will we be discussing?

Christian and Atheist interpretations of psychological data

  • Science, Reason and Empirical methods: from a Naturalist and Christian perspective
  • Psychology of the culture wars: why do Christian and Atheist discussion so often end up in mud-slinging? There are several decades of social psychological research to help us unpick this.
  • Is the Christian worldview’s emphasis on sin bad for our self-esteem? What are Christian responses to shame?
  • Resurrection and Memory: can we trust the memories of those who claim to have witnessed seeing the resurrected Jesus?
  • The neuroscience of free will: comparing Naturalist and Christian understandings of volition

Christian Worldview and Psychology

  • How should Theology relate to Psychology: the relative merits of Integrationist, Christian Psychology, Biblical Counseling, etc. approaches
  • Church history and Psychology: learning from Christians in the past who struggled through mental health problems such as William Cowper, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, David Brainerd, Abraham Kuyper
  • Theological reflection on mental health issues: such as depression, anxiety, psychosis

There are many other topics, if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them. I’m going to aim to blog about once a month.

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