Understanding Young People’s Worldview A Practical Example of How to Work with the Model of Credition

Vasiliki Mitropoulou

Abstract Creditions are considered as cognitive processes, although all belief processes do not become conscious. The chapter aims to present some aspects of a small research project at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, which implements the theory of credition in examining young people studying theology, and to find out if their attitudes and beliefs were affected in accordance with the credition model.

The Problem with Beliefs

In everyday discussions of religious or non-religious content, we often hear the argument: “That’s a question of belief.” However, if our discussions about our problems and issues boil down to nothing more than what different people believe, then there is a high risk of becoming helpless. In complicated discussions, it may come to the point when we have to state: some believe this, others believe that, and there is no bridge between both positions.

But is this really the case? The concept of credition provides a tool that may help overcome the frontier of speechlessness and lack of answers. It can be helpful to see behind the acts of beliefs and to better understand the cognitive and emotional state of the participants. Thus, a person’s belief is so strong that it can define decisions, form their attitudes and guide his/her actions. Regarding this kind of belief, a theory was formed, named with the new term “credition” aiming to state the “process of believing” (Angel 2011). The theory of credition suggests that the processes of believing are the result of attitudes, which act as a guide for our actions, influencing them and establishing new connections between old facts or ideas. (Davies 2007) This corresponds with basic anthropological considerations (Boyer 2003a). The concept of credition focuses on the process character, i.e., what happens when someone is doing what we call “he/she believes”. [1]

It was the model of credition [see chapter “Credition - From the Question of Belief to the Question of Believing (Angel)”] that prompted our research about how far we can come when applying the model within a defined set of communications. Our intention was to first conduct a small empirical research program to see whether the model of credition could help us to better understand the processes of believing. The target group was a small group of 4th-year (8th semester) students in the Department of Theology at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, and the research method was qualitative, conducted with a personal, semi-structured interview.

  • [1] Mitropoulou (*) Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greecee-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it © Springer International Publishing AG 2017 363 H.-F. Angel et al. (eds.), Processes of Believing: The Acquisition, Maintenance,and Change in Creditions, New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion 1, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-50924-2_25
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