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Mary Clark Moschella

In Caring for Joy: Narrative, Theology, and Practice Mary Clark Moschella offers a new account of the value of joy in caregiving vocations, demonstrating how the work of caring for persons, communities, and the world need not be a dreary endeavor overwhelmed by crises or undermined by despair. Moschella presents glimpses of joy-in-action in the narratives of five notable figures: Heidi Neumark, Henri Nouwen, Gregory Boyle, Pauli Murray, and Paul Farmer, gleaning their wisdom for the construction of a theology of joy that embodies compassion, connection, justice, and freedom. Care must be deep enough to hold human suffering and spacious enough to take in the divine goodness, beauty, and love. This book expands the pastoral theological imagination and narrates joy-full approaches to transformational care.

“This work is a scholarly, engaging and compassionate call to reconsider the significance of joyful living and joyful lives in radical pastoral theology.”
— Heather Walton, University of Glasgow, President of the International Academy of Practical Theology, July 2016.

“Based on biographies, interviews, and life stories, Mary Clark Moschella presents joy as a counter-cultural emotion, as a spiritual path, and as a fruit of the Spirit. In her research, joy and reason are not ultimately opposed.”
— Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor of Pastoral Care, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, July 2016.

“This highly readable and compelling theology of joy will inspire you to explore how joy might energize your vocation, especially caregiving vocations that use narrative approaches to spiritual care and pastoral counseling. I plan on using this book as a textbook in my theodicy, grief, death and dying, and vocational courses.”
— Carrie Doehring, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, August 2016

“Mary Moschella has given us a rare text, one that is theologically rich, intellectually sophisticated, drenched in pastoral wisdom, and beautifully written. She gives us a pastoral theology attuned to the realities of diversity and sensitive to the complex challenges facing those who lives constantly interface with suffering. There is simply nothing else like this book in pastoral care.”
— Willie James Jennings, Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale University, August 2016

Broken Fathers / Broken Sons

A Psychoanalyst Remembers

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Gerald J. Gargiulo

This memoir is a story of loss and gain, of alienation and reconciliation, and of how such experiences go into the making of a psychoanalyst. In sharing his own very troubled family history, his decade as a Carmelite monk, his marriage and career as a psychoanalyst, Gargiulo shows how the diverse pieces of one’s life can fit together into something that is meaningful and real. This is one person’s life - but it relates to us all. “We are bound together, each of us,” the author writes, “in our living, our troubles and our joys. As we hear another's story, we are, simultaneously, writing our own autobiography.”

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Joseph Pieper and Marinus van Uden

Joseph Pieper and Marinus van Uden have proposed a book consisting of previously published papers on the topics of religion, coping, and mental health care. It covers quite a bit of territory: the complex relationships between religion and mental health, surveys that present the views of therapists and patients about the interface between religion and mental health, a case study of a religious patient struggling with psychological problems, empirical studies of religious coping among various groups, and a method for teaching the clinical psychology of religion.
Although the papers are diverse, they are unified by several themes. First, the papers convey a balanced approach to religion and psychology. They speak to the potentially positive and negative contributions religion can make to health and well-being. Second, several of the papers focus on the role of religious coping among patients in the Netherlands. This focus is noteworthy since the large majority of this theory and research has been limited to the USA. Third, they underscore the value of a cross-cultural approach to the field. Their surveys point to the importance of religious/worldview perspectives to many patients (and therapists) in the Netherlands, even though the culture is more secularised than the USA. However, their papers also suggest that the manifestation of these religious/worldview perspectives may take different shape in the Netherlands. Fourth, the papers have clinical relevance. The case history of the obsessive-compulsive patient by Van Uden (ch. 4) contains an excellent example of the way in which religious resources can be accessed to counter dysfunctional behaviours.
This volume shows initial effort in a newly emerging area of study. It is encouraging to see a significant body of research and practice on the psychology of religion and coping coming out of the Netherlands. It could stimulate further advances in a more cross-culturally sensitive, clinical psychology of religion. – Kenneth Pargament, Professor of Psychology, Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA

Dimensions of Mystical Experiences

Empirical Studies and Psychological Links

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Ralph W. Hood Jr.

Paternity as Function

Structuring the Religious Experience

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Vassilis Saroglou

Faced with the contemporary proliferation of a “religion of emotional communities” and the multiplication of gurus, spiritual directors and masters, the psychologist of religion should question the impact of the paternal function on the structuring of religious experience. This question is examined here within the context of ancient monasticism and on the basis of ascetic sources (mainly the Ladder of John Climacus, 7th c.), as well as by means of the analysis of rituals such as baptism and monastic profession. The author demonstrates that the spiritual father refers to paternity as function, and that this function is both structural and structuring with respect to religious experience. It is also examined how this crossroads-concept of fatherhood is linked to other psychic realities such as the maternal dimension of religious desire and the role of the community, the relations between the real, the imaginary, and the symbolic, the paternal uncertainty, the articulation of the mystical desire with the Law, and the control of sexuality. This study shows the importance of this function for bringing together structure and development in the religious experience and indicates the risks of this paternity for a religious pathology.

Aspects in Contexts

Studies in the History of Psychology of Religion

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Edited by Jacob A. Belzen

Psychology of religion has been enjoying considerable attention of late; the number of publications and people involved in the field is rapidly increasing. It is, however, one of the oldest branches within psychology in general, and one of the few in which an interdisciplinary approach has been kept alive and fostered. The fate of the field has been quite varied in the countries where psychology of religion has been initiated and developed during the 20th century. In this volume, some aspects of this international history are examined. Coming from six different Western countries, each of the contributors has a record in the historiography of psychology and profound knowledge of psychology of religion. Their approaches combine elements from the history of mentalities, the social history of science and biographical studies.
The volume contains in-depth treatments of such topics as the growth of the field as reflected in university politics, developments within international organizations, and the personal involvement of contributors to the field. A wealth of information is provided on the background of the work of well known psychologists of religion like James Henry Leuba, Oskar Pfister, Gordon Allport, Werner Gruehn, Antoine Vergote and others.

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Edited by Jacob A. Belzen

Contemporary psychology is reviving with new vigor an interest in hermeneutics, or the human science of interpretation. After a period in which positivistic and statistical approaches have been dominant, new methods are being explored. Most of these focus on narrative, cultural analysis, embodiment and interdisciplinarity. Because of its specific object of study, psychology of religion has never been without an hermeneutical emphasis. In this field of psychology scholarship, these new directions are especially welcomed as they offer perspectives for research which attempts to interpret religion as a human phenomenon.
This volume presents hermeneutical psychological studies on religion which rely on both classical and contemporary approaches. Dealing with topics like mysticism, religious symbols, life stories and mental health, contributions to the volume draw on a variety of perspectives. These range from psychoanalysis, narrative psychology and feminism to perspectives drawn deep from the wellspring of interdisciplinary collaboration with anthropology and history.

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Edited by Halina Grzymała-Moszcyńska and Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi