Healthy or unhealthy faith: Standard, context, normativity
This contribution considers the functionality of religious beliefs and practices from the angle of the psychology of religion. The role of religion in the main standard for mental health (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is discussed and research findings about the relation between religion and mental health are summarized. It is argued that to determine if a specific religious belief or practice is healthy or unhealthy, we need a fundamentally contextual approach, which takes into account not only the cultural and religious context but also the life-history and personal stance (normativity) of religious authorities, care professionals, patients and believers. The case of depression serves as an example.