Evaluations on the postgraduate courses (1949-2015) in the psychology of religion in Turkey - I
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The field of psychology of religion encompasses scientific researches on religious and non-religious individuals as well as on the topics of faith and rituals in religious traditions by using psychological methodology and interpretive approaches. Thus, the discipline attempts to define and detail the origins of religious faith and behaviours of religious individuals in a correct and proper manner. Although the Psychology of Religion only appeared as an institutionalised discipline in the late 19th century, it has a long history that goes back centuries. The discipline includes two main fields of inquiry, namely theology and psychology. It is safe to assume that, if the dialogue and interaction between psychology and theology in question continues to develop, this discipline will gradually gain a firmer position among other sciences (Koc, 2012: 327). This article aims to introduce, in brief, the postgraduate courses on the 'Psychology of Religion' (1949-2015) in Turkey in order to assist young researchers, intending to study for master degree in the Psychology of Religion and/or obtaining an undergraduate degree mainly in theology and in the other relevant majors such as psychology and psychological counselling and guidance. This article firstly provides an overall assessment on master degree programmes on the Psychology of Religion in Turkish universities and secondly gives information about the course contents, particularly regarding to Psychology of Religion in the master programmes in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, based on the university samples (n=13).Method and Data CollectionIt is used qualitative design using literature survey methodology in the article. Comparing to the quantitative design, the qualitative approaches provide in-depth information, insights and understandings regarding the research topics.The sample of the study consists of only thirteen universities in Turkey which are in alphabetical order: (i)-Ankara University, (ii)-Ataturk University, (iii)-Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, (iv)-Cukurova University, (v)-Dokuz Eylul University, (vi)-Erciyes University, (vii)-Hitit University, (viii)-Marmara University, (ix)-Ondokuz Mayis University, (x)Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, (xi)-Sakarya University, (xii)-Suleyman Demirel University, (xiii)-Uludag University". As a source of information about the postgraduate courses on the '`Psychology of Religion' (1949-2015) in Turkey, (a) the official websites of the universities, (b) telephone interviews with religious psychologists as an academic staff, still working at these universities, and (c) e-mail correspondence are used in the article.In order to realize this purpose, a survey is performed among these universities under the basis of these master degree programmes on the Psychology of Religion in Turkey. A number of the tables related to the course contents and their credits in these universities are created by the researcher. Additionally, thirteen different tables, providing semester periods and course codes as well as course types (compulsory or elective) and including the total course period are created and finally the master degree programmes on the Psychology of Religion in Turkey covering the years between 1949 and 2015 are scanned by the researcher. The Findings It is ultimately determined that according to university samples [n = 13], there are a total of one hundred and sixty-eight courses [n=168] in the postgraduate programme of Turkish state universities. Furthermore, it is emphasized that considering the academic structure of postgraduate programmes on the Psychology of Religion in Turkey, there is no particular master programme on the Psychology of Religion, depending on Institute of Social Science which is the institution of the postgraduate academic education, but it is taught under master programme on 'Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies' which is an umbrella programme. Furthermore, as major title place on the postgraduate diplomas of the students, successfully defending their theses which are prepared on the specific topic of the Psychology of Religion, "Philosophy and Religious Studies" has been determined to be written instead of "Psychology of Religion". This can be evaluated as a mandatory result of formal international accreditation. As a result of the survey findings, it is seen that state universities which provide the most detailed and proper information about education curriculum on their internet portal in Turkey are Uludag University and Dokuz Eylul University. It has been opened approximately six [n = 6] elective courses from each branch in each semester in the umbrella master programs under the title of Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Therefore, besides the compulsory courses in the semester, there are 6 elective courses that the students can choose each semester, particularly in the branch of Psychology of Religion. Although application of 'one-year preparatory/foundational course' for the candidates who have a different bachelor's degree from Theology or Psychology is foreseen in the formal process of Turkish education system, there is no master program, applying this kind of course in practical terms under the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies as an umbrella programme in Turkey.Bu makalenin temel amacı, ‘din psikolojisi’ alanında yüksek lisans yapmayı düşünen ve başta teoloji olmak üzere psikoloji, psikolojik danışmanlık ve rehberlik gibi ilgili alanlarda lisans düzeyinde eğitime sahip genç araştırmacılara yardımcı olmak için adı geçen bilim dalının Türkiye’deki yüksek lisans eğitimi (1949‐2015) üzerine genel bir değerlendirme yapmaktır. Öncelikle Türkiye’deki üniversitelerde din psikolojisi alanında açılan yüksek lisans programlarının genel bir değerlendirilmesinin yapıldığı makalede daha sonra, belirlenen üniversite örnekleri (n=13) üzerinden Felsefe ve Din Bilimleri Anabilim Dalı’nda açılan yüksek lisans programlarında yer alan sadece Din Psikolojisi Bilim Dalı’na ait yüksek lisans ders içerikleri bilgilerine yer verilmiştir. Sonuç olarak makalede, örneklem olarak alınan on üç [n=13] Türk devlet üniversitesindeki bu bilim dalında açılan yüksek lisans programlarında, toplam yüz altmış sekiz [n=168] adet ders verildiği görülmüştür. Ayrıca Türkiye’de din psikolojisi bilim dalındaki yüksek lisans programlarının akademik yapılanması göz önünde bulundurulduğunda; lisansüstü akademik eğitim kurumu olan sosyal bilimler enstitülerine bağlı “Din Psikolojisi Bilim Dalı”na ait bağımsız bir lisansüstü programı bulunmadığı ve bu alanın, şemsiye program olan ‘Felsefe ve Din Bilimleri Anabilim Dalı’ altında yer aldığı vurgulanmıştır.