Национальный психологический журнал (Sep 2015)

Christian psychology as a scientific direction: on the history of the issue

  • Boris S. Bratus

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 19
pp. 4 – 14


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The paper is the first attempt to consider cultural and historical background of the new scientific direction of Christian psychology in the post-Soviet Russia. It shows the continuity of this trend with the works of the Tsar Russia period, and the connection with the works on the psychology of faith by foreign scientists. The reasons for reviving the interest in the psychological issues of spiritual development and religious outlook are described. Despite the fact that certain ideas and attitudes to the issues mentioned above appeared at the Soviet time, the possibility of the open movement arose only at the decline of Soviet ideology. The interest in the study of personality and individuality was increasing on a par with the issues of man’s inner world, which is unthinkable without spiritual and religious aspects of human mind. The main milestones of Moscow school of Christian psychology development are highlighted: Seminar on Christian Psychology and Anthropology at the Department of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University (1990), Laboratory of Philosophical and Psychological Foundations of Human Development (actually Christian psychology laboratory) at the Psychological Institute of RAS, new specialty «Psychology of Religion» at the Department of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University (early 1990s), the first Russian edition of textbook « Christian Psychology» for high schools (1995), «Chelpanovskye readings» in the Psychological Institute of RAO, which touched on Christian issues. Several departments of the Institute of Educational Innovations RAO start practicing Christian education and psychology. International conferences of the late 1990s - early 2000s on the psychology of religion and the implementation of other facts of the Christian ideas of psychology at educational and practical activities in Russia are mentioned.