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Quest religious orientation among church leaders in Australia: A function of psychological predisposition or openness to mystical experience?

Francis, Leslie J., Village, Andrew and Powell, Ruth (2017) Quest religious orientation among church leaders in Australia: A function of psychological predisposition or openness to mystical experience? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

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Abstract

Quest religious orientation among church leaders signifies a style of leadership committed to religious explorations more than to religious certainties. This study sets out to explore the extent to which quest religious orientation among religious leaders is a function of psychological predisposition (conceptualized in terms of psychological type theory) or a function of distinctive forms of religious experience (conceptualized in terms of Happold’s model of mysticism) among a sample of 1,265 church leaders who participated in the 2011 Australian National Church Life Survey. The data demonstrated that higher levels of mystical orientation were associated with psychological predisposition, involving extraversion, intuition, feeling and perceiving. After controlling for sex, age, education, denominational groups and psychological type, higher levels of mystical orientation were also associated with higher levels of quest religious orientation. Mystical orientation partly mediated the effect of intuition on question orientation, but psychological preferences (for intuition and for perceiving) and mystical orientation seemed independently to promote quest religious orientation. Thus, church leaders committed to religious explorations rather than to religious certainties seemed to have been shaped both by psychological predisposition and by distinctive forms of religious experience.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017, American Psychological Association. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors permission. The final article will be available, upon publication, via its DOI: 10.1037/rel0000125
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000125
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2010

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