The relationship between dissociation and religiosity: an empirical evaluation of Schumaker's theory

Martin J. Dorahy, Christopher Alan Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dissociation can be broadly understood as alterations in consciousness where integrated processing of psychological and/or sensory information is disrupted. Following Schumaker's (1995) suggestion that dissociation elicited by religions ritual provides the basis for religious beliefs, the current aim was to empirically assess the relationship between dissociation, religious ritual, and religious beliefs. Four samples with varying levels of religious commitment were administered the Dissociative Experiences Scale, the Francis Scale of Attitude Toward Christianity-short form, and the Maranell Religious Ritual Scale. Dissociation scores were highest in the young Catholic sample and lowest in the Fellowship group. However, these results are largely affected by the covariate of age. No relationship was found between dissociation, religious attitude, and religions ritual in the student sample. However, small to moderate significant correlations were found in the Catholic sample. Results are discussed with reference to Schumaker's theoretical proposal and directions are suggested for future assessment of the dissociation-religiosity relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes

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