The discipline of psychology is often presented as resistant to the insights of religion and spirituality. Psychology, with its emphasis on observable and measurable behaviour, can be seen as standing in opposition to religion, with its emphasis on faith and the ineffable. For young people, factors such as finding a purpose in life, building on personal strengths and developing emotional supports have become evermore important in the face of adversity in an increasingly complex society. The new movement of positive psychology with a research emphasis on positive states and dispositions offers a vehicle for the reconciliation of positive psychology, religion and spirituality with respect to understanding and contributing to the holistic development of young people. This chapter presents the common ground between the contemporary development of positive psychology and the ancient wisdom of Christian spirituality as mutually inclusive frameworks for helping young people find meaning and purpose in life.
de Souza, M., Francis, L., O’Higgins-Norman, J., Scott, D.