Introducing the Basics

Psychology in Other Cultures

How do the three major monotheistic religions address psychological questions?

While there are major differences between the three monotheistic religions—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—they all believe in a single God who is the source of all truth, morality, and happiness. Thus in all three religions, human psychology is defined and shaped by the relationship to God. Happiness is found by getting close to God, by submitting to or obeying Him and living according to His dictates. Likewise, suffering comes from distance from God. Christianity has a well-developed concept of sin, which reflects a rejection of God’s path. Christianity also speaks of the devil, to whom much destructive and socially unacceptable behavior is attributed. Finally, truth is revealed by God, either through the central religious texts or through prayer. There may be variation in the interpretation of God’s truth, but His truth is absolute; there is no truth outside of it.


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