A Look Back Into Humanity’s Collective History, Through Religious Rituals and Practices

As part of his work with Martin Seligman in Penn’s Positive Psychology Center, David Yaden began thinking about where typical psychological interventions derive. “Generally, they’re from researchers who think them up and test them from theory,” he says. Instead, “why don’t we look back into humanity’s collective history at the rituals and practices that people have been doing for hundreds or thousands of years?” The result of that reframing is Rituals and Practices in World Religions, a new book Yaden co-edited with Yukun Zhao of China’s Tsinghua University, Kaiping Peng of the University of California, Berkeley, and Andrew Newberg of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

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