Popular psychology, belief in life after death and reincarnation in the nordic countries, western and eastern europe

Erlendur Haraldsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Haraldsson, E. Popular psychology, belief in life after death and reincarnation in the Nordic countries, Western and Eastern Europe. Nordic Psychology, 58, 171–180. The European Values Survey explores national differences and similarities, also regarding religious beliefs which express popular assumptions regarding the nature of man and the ontological status of consciousness. These views differ radically from the dominant scientific view, also in academic psychology. The Nordic countries vary considerably in their beliefs in life after death and reincarnation with half of the respondents believing in life after death, and 43 percent of these believing in reincarnation which also goes against established views of the Christian Church. This shows independence from scientific as well as religious authorities. Is it a remnant of pre-Christian beliefs, due to exposure to Buddhist and Hindu concepts, or a sign of original independent thinking? Half a century of anti-religious regimes in Eastern Europe seems to have had no major effect on beliefs about personal survival, and the European Values Survey shows a widespread belief in reincarnation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalNordic Psychology
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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