RSSSR continues to offer a place for the publication of theoretical and empirical papers related to the broad area of how the social sciences understand religion. Two papers in the general section add important contributions to the fields of faith development and spirituality. The use of special sections has enabled particular topics to be dealt with in detail and shows how information that is gathered incrementally can help make great advances in a field. Spirituality, alongside religion, features as the key independent variable in many of the nine papers of the special section in this volume. Social scientific approaches have sought to show links between the experiences of health, well-being or disease, and individual differences in religiosity and/or spirituality.
Ralph L. Piedmont, Ph.D., is professor of pastoral counseling at Loyola University Maryland. He is also the founding editor of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, the official journal of Division 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association. Andrew Village, Ph. D., is Senior Lecturer in Practical and Empirical Theology at York St John University, UK. He holds doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bristol. His research interests include psychology and religion and empirical hermeneutics.