The 16 Strivings for God

The New Psychology of Religious Experiences

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Steven Reiss
  • Macon, GA: 
    Mercer University Press
    , October
     192 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This ground-breaking work will change the way we understand religion. Period. Previous scholars such as Freud, James, Durkheim, and Maslow did not successfully identify the essence of religion as fear of death, mysticism, sacredness, communal bonding, magic, or peak experiences because religion has no single essence. Religion is about the values motivated by the sixteen basic desires of human nature. It has mass appeal because it accommodates the values of people with opposite personality traits. This is the first comprehensive theory of the psychology of religion that can be scientifically verified. Reiss proposes a peer-reviewed, original theory of mysticism, asceticism, spiritual personality, and hundreds of religious beliefs and practices. Written for serious readers and anyone interested in psychology and religion (especially their own), this eminently readable book will revolutionize the psychology of religious experience by exploring the motivations and characteristics of the individual in their religious life.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Steven Reiss is an American psychologist who continues to contribute original ideas, new assessment methods, and influential research studies to three topics in psychology: anxiety disorders, developmental disabilities, and intrinsic motivation. Reiss was educated at Dartmouth College, Yale University, and Harvard University. He served as a tenured professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1972-1991) and at The Ohio State University (1991-2008), where for sixteen years he directed the developmental disabilities center at The Ohio State University Medical Center. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling Who Am I?: The 16 Basic Desires that Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personalitites.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments