Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1943-) Trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Michigan Professor of Psychology at the University of Haifa (Israel).

Widely known as a social psychologist of religion, he is thus inextricably associated with a topic manifestly marginal to the dominant "tough-minded" model of academic psychology. Viewing the study of religion as central to his own more flexible and humanistic conception of the discipline, he asserts his fundamentally interrelated and interdisciplinary convictions that (1) there are no purely psychological questions or answers concerning religion and (2) study of the religious factor must be embedded in a broader psychology of culture focused on the diverse products of the human imagination. Evident in his general treatises, these insights are astutely infused into Beit-Hallahmi's perceptive empirical investigations of various contemporary routes to salvation, most notably in the Israeli context. They also underlie his poignantly prophetic assessment of the interwoven fates of Judaism and the Zionist dream in the twentieth century.

Roger O'Toole


M. Argyle and B. Beit-Hallahmi, The Social Psychology of Religion (London: Routledge, 1975)

B. Beit-Hallahmi (ed.), Research in Religious Behavior (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1973)

B. Beit-Hallahmi, Prolegomena to the Psychological Study of Religion (London: Associated University Press, 1989)

B. Beit-Hallahmi, Despair and Deliverance (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992)

B. Beit-Hallahmi, Original Sins (London: Pluto, 1992)

B. Beit-Hallahmi (ed.), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects, and Cults (New York: Rosen, 1993)

Z. Sobel and B. Beit-Hallahmi (eds.), Tradition, Innovation, Conflict (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991).

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