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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

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Gordon Allport: The Concept of Personal Religious Orientations 4901

Titov R.S., PhD student at the Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, intern researcher at the Laboratory of Positive Psychology and Life Quality, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Abstract
The paper reviews Gordon Allport's concept of religious orientations — intrinsic and extrinsic religion, that is, views of religion as an end to itself or rather as a means to an end, both 'orthogonal' to the essence of faith. This concept laid the foundation of modern psychology of religion and shaped its development for a few decades. The core problem of the concept is why religiosity can serve as a basis not only for extremely positive phenomena, but for extremely negative ones as well. The paper traces the history of the concept from Allport's early ideas and studies, through the main outcomes and innovations, and to his later reflections and criticism. This review reveals Allport's chain of thought; the similarity between the late and early — undeservedly for- gotten — criticism; the controversial character of Daniel Bateson's additions. The paper also focuses on how the concept is applied in modern psychology and on the issues that remain unsolved. The problem that was Allport's core interest is still relevant today. Those who criticized his concept called for a clear theoretical explanation for his guess. The final part of the paper describes the attempt of the modern motivation theory supporters to carry on Allport's work and continue the explorations on a new level.

Keywords: religiosity, psychological well-being, religious orientations, intrinsic and extrinsic religion, reli- gion as quest

Column: Theory and Methodology

For Reference

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