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All over the world, we encounter narratives of gods and heroes who were born to virgins. Psychological theories of religion assume that because of universal mechanisms and dispositions, we are ready to accept or create general claims about the spirit world and some specific fantasies about the denizens of that world. A popular cultural or universal fantasy raises the question of its special power over a substantial number of individual minds. Universal themes in religious mythology are the reflection of the psychic unity of humanity, which in turn is the consequence of common psychological structures and universal early experiences, shared by all.
Benny Beit-Hallahmi is the author, co-author, or editor of 14 books on the psychology of religion. His latest is Psychological Perspectives on Religion and Religiosity. New York & London: Routledge, 2015.