posted July 22, 2003

Book Views Christian Faith and Psych Research

Dr. Scott VanderStoep of the Hope College psychology faculty is editor of a book that considers how Christian belief relates to contemporary issues in psychological research.

"Science and the Soul: Christian Faith and Psychological Research" was released in June by the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group of University Press of America Inc.

The 364-page book, featuring multiple authors, is designed for educated laity and students of psychology interested in how Christian beliefs relate to findings in psychological research. Each chapter covers an important component of psychological research, followed by at least one response or critique from another scholar.

The first section of the book addresses major themes the authors believe Christian psychologists should address, including understanding human nature; ways of knowing in psychological science; the place of Christian faith and scripture in doing psychology; and Christian ethics and psychological research.

The second part of the book explores specific research areas in psychological science that are often of interest to Christians. The topics include: psychological research methods; cognitive science; behavior genetics; evolutionary psychology; motivation and social determination; psychotherapy and Christian counseling; gender and sexuality; and marriage.

In addition to VanderStoep, the book's contributors include Dr. Marjorie Lindner Gunnoe of the psychology faculty at Calvin College in Grand Rapids; Dr. Clarence W. Joldersma of the Calvin education faculty; Dr. Heather A. Looy of the psychology faculty at King's University College in Canada; Dr. Alan C. Tjeltveit of the psychology faculty at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania; Dr. Donald H. Wacome of the philosophy faculty at Northwestern College in Iowa; and Dr. Glenn D. Weaver of the Calvin psychology faculty.

VanderStoep has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1999, and is an associate professor of psychology and director of the college's Carl Frost Center for Social Science Research. He was also a visiting member of the Hope faculty from 1992 to 1994.

His publications since joining the faculty also include the 2002 book "Learning to Learn: The Skill and Will of College Success," which he co-authored with Dr. Paul R. Pintrich of the University of Michigan.

From 1996 to 1999, VanderStoep was an assistant professor of psychology at Calvin College. He was a member of the psychology faculty at Northwestern College from 1994 to 1996.

He graduated from Hope in 1987 with a major in psychology. He completed his master's degree in social psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989, and his doctorate in psychology and education at the University of Michigan in 1992.