Hearing Visions and Seeing Voices: Psychological Aspects of Biblical Concepts and Personalities / Edition 1

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This book’s aim is to enrich and deepen our psychological understanding of biblical concepts and personalities. Such understanding is relevant for theology as well as for psychology and psychiatry. It may help theologians to contextualize their discipline by bringing it into contact with contemporary psychological and existential issues and tensions, both at an individual and a societal level. It also encourages psychologists and psychiatrists to develop and refine their vocabularies when they try to comprehend the existential meaning of what is transmitted to them by their clients.

The book highlights the concepts of prophecy, martyrdom, and messianism from Christian and Judaic perspectives. Each concept offers one biblical figure as representative: Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus, respectively. The sections on these three subjects and personalities are sandwiched between a section on historical and conceptual issues, and a section devoted to select interdisciplinary issues.

Biblical images of pain, anguish, suffering, hope, resentment, and awe are part of our cultural background and shape the way we understand our lives and sufferings. Biblical perspectives on human existence, on the other hand, differ in some important respects from modernist conceptions that prevail in psychotherapy and psychiatry. The book investigates the possibility of a theological criticism on common frameworks of psychological and psychiatric understanding of the inner world of the client. It also offers new ways to understand the ‘transformative’ power of religion.

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Editorial Reviews

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From the reviews:

"For those who attempt to integrate spirituality, religion, and religious thought into psychological, particularly psychotherapeutic, models, this multiedited book will be intriguing. … The book on the whole is thought provoking and brings a somewhat different focus to the field of religion and psychology than is usually found. … The serious scholar of psychology and religion may well wish to add it to his or her collection. Courses in theological seminaries, schools of religion, and programs of psychology would benefit … ." (Richard H. Cox, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 53 (6), 2008)

"The chapters in this book are based on papers presented in 2002 at an international conference, Psychological Aspects of Biblical Concepts and Persons, in Amsterdam. … attempts to address the overwhelming ‘numinous’ experience of man’s encounter with the divine, whether in the Bible or in pathological hallucination. … the book is aimed at clinicians, scholars and students of human behavior, the editors also hope to interest pastors and theologians." (Brian R. Skea, Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 47, 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402059384
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 8/2/2007
  • Edition description: 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Contributing Authors. Preface. Acknowledgements. Part I: Historical and Conceptual Issues. 1. Introduction to Historical and Conceptual Issues; G. Glas. 2. Psychiatry and Religion. An Unconsummated Marriage; H. van Praag. 3. Biblical Narratives as History: Biblical Persons as Objects of Historical Faith; C.S. Evans. Part II: Prophecy: Theological and Psychological Aspects. 4. Introduction to Prophecy: Theological and Psychological Aspects; G. Glas. 5. The Dynamics of Prophecy in the Writings of Abraham Joshua Heschel; N. Gillman. 6. The Prophets as Persons; B. Becking. 7. Jeremiah Interpreted: A Rabbinic Analysis of the Prophet; B. J. Levy. Part III: Martyrdom: Theological and Psychological Aspects. 8. Introduction to Martyrdom: Theological and Psychological Aspects; G. Glas. 9. Martyrdom: Theological and Psychological Aspects. Martyrdom in Judaism; H. Maccoby, Z.L. † . 10. The Martyrdom of Paul; J. van Bruggen. 11. Spiritual, Human, and Psychological Dimensions of St. Paul’s Martyrdom; H. W. M. Tájrá. Part IV:. Messianism: Theological and Psychological Aspects. 12. Introduction to Messianism: Theological and Psychological Aspects; G. Glas; 13. Casting a Psychological Look on Jesus the Marginal Jew; A. Vergote. 14. The Land of Israel: Desire and Dread in Jewish Literature; A. Ravitzky. 15. The Person of Jesus; A. van de Beek. 16. Imagining Jesus: To Portray or Betray? Psycho(-patho)logical Aspects of Attempts to Discuss the Historical Individual; P. J. Verhagen. Part V: Interdisciplinary Issues: Prospects for the Future.17. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Issues: Prospects for the Future; G. Glas. 18. The Hidden Subject of Job: Mirroring and the Anguish of Interminable Desire; M. H. Spero. 19. Biblical Themes in Psychiatric Practice: Implications for Psychopathology and Psychotherapy; S. Pfeifer. 20. The Bible and Psychology: New Directions in Biblical Scholarship; W. G. Rollins. 21. Searching for the Dynamic 'Within'. Concluding Remarks on ‘Psychological Aspects of Biblical Concepts and Personalities’; G. Glas. Index of Names. Index of Subjects.

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