The Development of Early Psychology of Religion: A Dutch Falsification of the Received View

J Hist Behav Sci. Summer 2008;44(3):258-72. doi: 10.1002/jhbs.20314.


This article takes issue with the received view of the history of the psychology of religion. Contrary to the presentation of "the" psychology of religion by Beit-Hallahmi in JHBS (1974) as declining after 1913, this article (1) states that the psychology of religion has never been a homogeneous enterprise, but rather a multiform one, with very different developments in different countries, and (2) presents the history of the Dutch Godsdienstpsychologische Studievereeniging [Study Association for the Psychology of Religion; GPSV] as one of the falsifications of the received view. The GPSV existed in the 1920s and as one of its most notable activities, it organized in 1926 the first international conference for the psychology of religion, an event described in some detail.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • Philosophy, Medical / history*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Religious Philosophies / history*