Religious symbols play a significant role in the lives of individual human beings as well as in the lives of religious groups. Within the research on religion, symbols have traditionally been an object of interest for scholars approaching the theme from a phenomenological point of view. As a result of the influential studies on religious symbols presented by Sigmund Freud and Carl-Gustav Jung, however, studies on the psychological aspects of symbolism in a religious context started gaining ground in the second half of the 20th century.

This volume, based on a conference on the theme arranged in 1978, reflects the diversification of the research on religious symbols that was emerging at the time. Instead of offering a definitive description of the functions of religious symbols, the volume bears witness to the changing and fluid circumstances in which human beings come in contact with religious symbols and rely on them in the quest for an integrated and meaningful reality.

The volume is based on papers read at the Symposium on Religious Symbols and their Functions held at Åbo on the 28th-30th of August 1978. Ed. by Haralds Biezais. Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell, 1979.

Published: 1979-01-01