• Aleksandr Yurievich Chernov Volgograd State University
  • Evgeniya Sergeevna Guseva Academician S.P. Korolev Samara National Research University
Keywords: religiousness, social-psychological approach, psychological theories of religiousness, psychology of religion


Despite the fact that the psychology of religion develops rapidly in Russia as well as abroad, there is no uniform psychological definition of a religiousness phenomenon. It is hindered as well due to the fact that the psychology of religion as a sphere of scientific knowledge is determined ambiguously. There are three main approaches influencing the creation of theoretical apparatus of the scientific study. The first approach considers the psychology of religion as a part of philosophy or religious studies, the second – as a theology sphere, and the third one, we follow in this paper, as one of the psychology branches.

To the authors’ opinion, the study of religiousness not as the characteristics of the individual psyche but as a social-psychological phenomenon is the most specific and complex. It is the social-psychological approach that provides insight into the formation of a religious person and his/her behavior in the context of social interaction, understanding of the religious circulation processes within a small religious group.

To conceptualize the religiousness as a social-psychological phenomenon, the authors carried out the theoretical analysis of the scientific theories of the religiousness. Both the psychological theories and the psychological aspects of this phenomenon description in the framework of philosophy and sociology were considered.

The results of the analysis showed that in the context of the social-psychological approach, the religiousness is the system of interrelations of a man with God and the society. The authors highlighted such social functions of the religiousness as the person’s socialization, person's introduction to the social customs, attitudes, and traditions; the satisfaction of social needs of a person in play, communication and interaction; moral and hygienic functions providing the efficiency of survival of a person in the society; consolidation and regulation of a social group through the creation of the hierarchy. The religious circulation in such context can be considered as the socialization forming both the social identity of a believer and his or her self-consciousness in general.

Based on the obtained conclusions, the authors determined the religiousness as a social-psychological property of a person related to the construction of social interrelations mediated by the relations with the God or the higher force and being a result of the interiorization or acquiring of the social experience.

Author Biographies

Aleksandr Yurievich Chernov, Volgograd State University

Doctor of Sciences (Psychology), professor of Chair of Psychology

Evgeniya Sergeevna Guseva, Academician S.P. Korolev Samara National Research University

senior lecturer of Chair of Social Psychology, postgraduate student


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Psychological Sciences