The contributions of Christian perspectives and practices to positive psychology

Everett L. Jr. WORTHINGTON, Caroline R. LAVELOCK, Daryl R. VAN TONGEREN, Charlotte Van Oyen WITVLIET, Brandon J. GRIFFIN, Chelsea L. GREER, David J. II JENNINGS, Yin LIN, Kayla JORDAN, Man Yee HO

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


We summarize contributions of Christianity to positive psychology. There are three initial caveats. First, the diversity of Christian views and practices across cultures and throughout history has not been universally positive. Second, positive sources of well-being specifically due to Christianity are challenging to isolate. Third, culture is difficult to separate from religion. Christianity has made contributions to culture and intellectual thought and to individual and societal operations through virtues. Christianity supplements secular views of virtue by a Christian telos as maintaining a faithful and authentic relationship with God and by not being focused on raising up oneself, but about serving. Christianity promotes virtue by strengthening self-control and self-regulation, clarifying and focusing goals, and promoting other (related) virtues. It emphasizes two cardinal virtues—love and forgiveness. Future research directions depend on testing these suppositions. We must formulating testable hypotheses and organize existing research and accumulate additional research addressing each proposition. Copyright © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion and spirituality across cultures
Editors Kim-Prieto CHU
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9789401789509
ISBN (Print)9789401789493, 9401789495
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Worthington, E. L., Lavelock, C. R., Van Tongeren, D. R., Witvliet, C. V. O., Griffin, B. J., Greer, B. J., et al. (2014). The contributions of Christian perspectives and practices to positive psychology. In K.-P. Chu (Ed.), Religion and spirituality across cultures (pp. 47-70). New York: Springer.


  • Positive emotion
  • Religious coping
  • Positive psychology
  • Mental health symptom
  • Character strength


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