IAPR 2021

Religion/Spirituality and Health in Times of Crises


IAPR conferences are organized biannually in a different country. Normally, it had been planned that the conference in 2021 would take place in Brazil. However, due to the pandemic, this year’s conference (2021) will be organized virtually (online) with live presentations by keynote speakers, videos of prior recorded presentations by participants and posters.

Contributed by

Ibn Haldun University






Thomas Plante

Human Interaction with the Divine, the Sacred, and the Deceased

Abstract: People have been trying to connect and communicate with the divine and with the deceased since the dawn of time. Prayers and rituals of various sorts have tried to not only interact with those who have passed on but have tried to influence the divine, the saints, and departed to act in ways that benefit the living. Prayers for salvation, deliverance from troubles such as illness and traumas, as well as for insight, inspiration, wisdom, and for other needs are common. And experiences and desires for visitations from ghosts, angels, saints, deceased friends and relatives, and the divine are common too. There appears to be a longstanding, multicultural and multi-faith, and perhaps innate psychological desire to communicate with the gods and the departed to help better understand, manage, and cope with the various challenges of the living. And clinically, those who are grieved longed to connect with loved ones who have passed on. This presentation provides psychological and multidisciplinary perspectives on this phenomenon as well as recent research findings on this important topic.





DOUG oman

Mindfulness Across Religious Traditions:
Challenges and Implications for Psychology of Religion/Spirituality

Abstract: Mindfulness has been a topic of large and growing interest to mainstream psychology and other health and human service professions for the past two decades. Yet much controversy surrounds the relation of modernized mindfulness with its ostensible Buddhist roots. Such controversies point to needs for improved cultural adaptations of mindfulness, particularly regarding religion, perhaps through the principle of building interventions upon “a group’s cultural values, beliefs, and behaviors,” including its pre-existing religion (Kreuter et al., 2003, https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198102251021). Such adaptations could build on conceptual and practical analogues to mindfulness that can be identified in many religious traditions. For example, repetition of a holy name or mantram is arguably an empirically-supported mindfulness practice present for millennia across all major world religions (Oman et al., 2020, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01545-w). Various other traditional concepts and practices also show meaningful parallels with mindfulness (e.g., de Caussade, 1861/1989, Sacrament of the Present Moment). However, much work remains to identify relevant mindfulness analogues and use them to construct improved interventions. Generating needed understanding is an interdisciplinary task in which psychology of religion can play an important role. This talk reviews the conceptual and empirical background for this task, suggesting potential fruitful directions for psychology of religion in the study of mindfulness..

 23 August 2021 Monday

Program for the 23rd of August 2021:

4:00  Opening, welcome, and presentation

4:20  Keynote speech: Thomas Plante

5:20  Keynote speech: Doug Oman

6:20  General assembly of the IAPR

7:20  Ending and welcome at the next conference 2023

Time Zones


Copenhagen      4.00 pm – 7.30 pm

Los Angeles       7.00 am – 10.30 am

New York           10.00 am – 1.30 pm

Sao Paolo          1.00 pm – 4.30 pm

London               3.00 pm – 6.30 pm

Istanbul              6.00 pm – 9.30 pm

Delhi                    8:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Time to the Conference