Review: 16 Strivings for God

Bob on Books

16 Strivings for God

16 Strivings for God, Steven Reiss. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2015.

Summary: A new psychology of religious experience that argues that religions enjoy such a wide embrace because they offer repeated opportunities to satisfy sixteen basic motivations or “strivings” common to all human beings.

St. Augustine of Hippo in The Confessions wrote, “Thou has made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Steven Reiss, a psychologist whose most recent work has been in the area of motivation, argues that this striving, restless heart, expressed in a multi-faceted variety of ways, is the basis for the continuing appeal of religion and indeed that any major religion worth its salt appeals to all of sixteen strivings or motivations.

This contention is rooted in Reiss’s  work in motivation theory. Through a series of large scale surveys, Reiss and his associates discovered sixteen basic…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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