Cultural psychology and experimental existential psychology are two of the fastest-growing movements in social psychology. In this book, Daniel Sullivan combines both perspectives to present a groundbreaking analysis of culture's role in shaping the psychology of threat experience. The first part of the book presents a new theoretical framework guided by three central principles: that humans are in a unique existential situation because we possess symbolic consciousness and culture; that culture provides psychological protection against threatening experiences, but also helps to create them; and that interdisciplinary methods are vital to understanding the link between culture and threat. In the second part of the book, Sullivan presents a vel program of research guided by these principles. Focusing on a case study of a traditionalist group of Mennites in the midwestern United States, Sullivan examines the relationship between religion, community, guilt, anxiety, and the experience of natural disaster.
Daniel Sullivan is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on topics in experimental existential psychology, including terror management theory, enemy relations and conspiracy theories, and interpretations of suffering and victimhood. He has also written on film and literature, and with Jeff Greenberg was the co-editor of Death in Classic and Contemporary Film: Fade to Black (2013).