The Angry Christian: A Theology for Care and Counseling

Overview

In this work, respected scholar Andrew Lester discusses and incorporates the newest behavioral research models, contemporary biblical and theological scholarship, constructivist philosophy, and narrative theory into a comprehensive pastoral theology of anger. In revisiting through the lens of theological anthropology the very subject that brought him to the forefront of scholarship in pastoral care, Lester presents engaging new material and innovative new methods of interventions for dealing with this ...

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Overview

In this work, respected scholar Andrew Lester discusses and incorporates the newest behavioral research models, contemporary biblical and theological scholarship, constructivist philosophy, and narrative theory into a comprehensive pastoral theology of anger. In revisiting through the lens of theological anthropology the very subject that brought him to the forefront of scholarship in pastoral care, Lester presents engaging new material and innovative new methods of interventions for dealing with this often-confusing human emotion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664225193
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 594,419
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew D. Lester was Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the author of several books, including Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Pastoral Care with Children in Crisis, and The Angry Christian, all published by WJK.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Problem with Anger 1
The Church and Anger 2
What's the Problem? Anger Can Be Destructive 4
Why I'm Writing This Book 7
Constructing a Pastoral Theology 9
A Map of the Journey Ahead 11
Limited Perspectives 14
Part 1 Thinking about Emotion
1. The Significance of Emotion 19
What Is Emotion? 19
The Philosophical Case against Emotions 20
The Postmodern Recovery of Emotion 22
Neuroscience and Emotion 27
Neuroscience and Pastoral Theology 33
2. The Christian Tradition and Emotion 35
Emotion and the Bible 36
Historical Factors Affecting the Christian Tradition 40
A Word from the Theologians 43
3. Theological Reflections on Emotion 54
Emotion and Embodiment 55
In the Beginning--Emotion 57
Created in God's Image 57
The Gift of Emotion 58
Head and Heart: A Wholistic Approach 60
We Are Responsible for Our Emotions 62
Part 2 Understanding Anger
4. Anger or Aggression? 67
Science and Aggression 67
Aggression as Life Force 73
Theological Reflections 74
5. Where Does Anger Come From? The Neuroscience Contribution 77
The Brain and Anger 77
The Significance of Memory 81
Anger and Fear 82
A Capacity, Not an Instinct 84
The Threat Model of Anger 84
The Flexible Brain 85
Science in Process 86
Contributions to a Pastoral Theology of Anger 87
6. Why Do People Get Angry? A Constructionist Narrative Perspective 90
Constructivist and Constructionist Theory 91
Narrative Theory: Life as Story 95
A Constructionist Narrative Understanding of Anger 97
The Freedom to Change Narratives 100
Identifying and Changing Dominant Narratives from the Past 102
Contributions to a Pastoral Theology of Anger 108
Part 3 A Constructive Pastoral Theology of Anger
7. Why Is Anger One of the "Seven Deadly Sins"? The Christian Tradition 115
Dominant Narratives and the Formation of Tradition 115
Anger in Christian Theology: The Early Church 121
Anger in Christian Theology: The Reformers and Beyond 129
Twentieth-Century Theologians 133
Contributions to a Pastoral Theology of Anger 135
8. Biblical Perspectives: The Alternative Story about Human Anger 137
Stories in Hebrew Scripture 138
New Testament Stories 142
Contributions to a Pastoral Theology of Anger 147
9. The Anger of God and Jesus 150
Was God Angry? 151
Was God Abusive? 153
Why Was God Angry? An Expression of Love! 157
Jesus' Anger 160
Contributions to a Pastoral Theology of Anger 166
10. Toward a Pastoral Theology of Anger 169
Embodiment 170
Anger Is Rooted in Creation, Not in Sin 172
Created in God's Image 173
Anger as Gift: Blessed by God 176
Anger Is a Moral Issue 177
Freedom to Choose 179
Personal Responsibility 181
Summary 184
Part 4 Dealing with Anger: Christian Care and Counseling
11. Anger as Spiritual Ally 189
Anger and Hope 190
Anger and Courage 193
Anger and Recovery of Self 195
Anger and Intimacy 198
Anger as Idol Detector 200
Anger as a Guide toward Self-Understanding 202
12. Compassionate Anger 205
Anger and Love 205
Good Christians Should Be Angry 206
Compassion and Anger 212
Love Should Direct Anger 218
Christian Care and Counseling 221
13. Handling Anger Creatively 226
Recognizing Anger 227
Acknowledging Anger 229
Demobilizing the Body 231
Identifying the Narratives That Are Threatened 232
Evaluating the Validity of the Threat 236
Transforming Narratives 238
Changing Previous Patterns of Dealing with Anger 241
Creative Expressions of Anger 243
Christian Care and Counseling 247
Notes 253
Bibliography 281
Scripture Index 294
Author Index 296
Subject Index 299
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