THE LETTER 08 (Autumn 1996) pages 71-82
This article arose out of an evening spent with the members of the Association of Moral Theology Teachers discussing the relationship between religion and psychology Being knowledgeable people they were able to put my remarks to some use of their own but I was left with an uneasy feeling of having traded on the commonsense experience that twenty-five years as a psychologist can hardly fail to bring rather than having made an attempt to formalise and articulate intelligibly the link between religion and psychology as I am attempting to understand it.
The Limits of Psychological Inquiry
A discussion of the relationship between religion and psychology ought to begin, it seems to me, with a lowering of the expectations of what can be expected from the side of psychology.
Psychology strives to be scientific -although its precise status among the scientists remains a matter of dispute-and can thus make no claim of offering a complete or well rounded understanding of human life. This disclaimer is not easily tolerated by people who turn to psychology in the hope that men and women who have given their lives to the experimental, or in any case the empirical, study of what human beings actually say, do, think or feel should be in a better…