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A Political End to a Pioneering Career: Marianne Beth and the Psychology of Religion

Jacob A. Belzen
2011 Religions  
Although forgotten in both Religionswissenschaft (the Science of Religion) and psychology, Marianne Beth , initially trained as a lawyer and already in 1928 called a "leading European woman", must be considered as one of the female pioneers of these fields. She has been active especially in the psychology of religion, a field in which she, together with her husband Karl Beth, founded a research institute, an international organization and a journal. In 1932, the Beths organized in Vienna (where
more » ... ed in Vienna (where Karl was a professor) the largest conference ever in the history of the psychology of religion. Because of her Jewish descent, Marianne Beth fled to the USA when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. This brought an abrupt end to her career as researcher and writer. The article reconstructs Marianne Beth"s path into psychology, analyzes some of her work and puts her achievements in an international perspective. No Female Pioneers in Psychology of Religion? In the history of that branch of psychology, nowadays generally referred to as the "psychology of religion", 1 women are even less represented than in the field of psychology at large. Partly, this has to 1 In earlier times, the psychology of religion was occasionally referred to as "religious psychology". Nowadays the latter term is, however, applied to such forms of psychology that are themselves religious in their substance and selfconception and which as a rule make an integral part of a religious tradition, such as, for instance, psychologically OPEN ACCESS
doi:10.3390/rel2030247 fatcat:jrq4p5rsunhd3hxguwq35loib4