Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 249–264 | Cite as

The Lessons of Artistic Creativity for Pastoral Theologians

  • Donald CappsEmail author


This article applies David W. Galenson’s (2006) typology of artistic creativity to pastoral theology. Galenson identifies two types of painters—conceptualists and experimentalists—and shows that their most important innovations occur at different stages of an artist’s career, that their methods are very different, and that each type produces predictable career frustrations which may, however, be counteracted. The fact that these types are found among sculptors, poets, novelists and film directors leads Galenson to propose that they are also found among scholars, thus inviting application of the findings of the study to pastoral theology as a discipline and to individuals who identify themselves as pastoral theologians. Galenson’s work is supplemented by Thomas Dormandy’s (2000) study of older painters.


Erik H. Erikson David W. Galenson Painters Artistic creativity Pastoral theology Conceptualists Experimentalists Innovation Age Career frustrations Scholars Thomas Dormandy 


  1. Arnheim, R. (1988). The power of the center: A study of composition in the visual arts. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Capps, D. (1978). Psychohistory and historical genres: The plight and promise of Eriksonian biography. In P. Homans (Ed.), Childhood and selfhood: Essays on tradition, religion, and modernity (pp. 189–228). Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Capps, D. (1979). Pastoral care: A thematic approach. Philadelphia: Westminster. Republished by Wipf and Stock in 2003.Google Scholar
  4. Capps, D. (1997). The letting loose of hope: Where psychology of religion and pastoral care converge. The Journal of Pastoral Care, 51, 139–149.Google Scholar
  5. Capps, D. (1999). The lessons of art theory for pastoral theology. Pastoral Psychology, 47, 321–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Capps, D. (2008). The mother relationship and artistic inhibition in the lives of Leonardo da Vinci and Erik H. Erikson. Journal of Religion and Health, 47, 560–576.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Capps, J, & Capps, D. (Eds.) (2005). James and Dewey on belief and experience. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  8. Capps, J., & Capps, D. (2009). You’ve got to be kidding: How jokes can help you think. New York: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  9. Capps, D., & Carlin, N. (2007a). Mental illness publications in major pastoral care journals from 1950 to 2003. Pastoral Psychology, 55, 667–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Capps, D., & Carlin, N. (2007b). The homosexual tendencies of King James: Should this matter to Bible readers today? Pastoral Psychology, 55, 667–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Capps, D., & Carlin, N. (2008a). The “religiously mediated change” of eleven gay men: A case of unexceptional sublimation. Pastoral Psychology, 57, 125–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Capps, D., & Carlin, N. (2009a). Methuselah and company: A case of male envy of female longevity. Pastoral Psychology, 58 (in press).Google Scholar
  13. Capps, D., & Carlin, N. (2009b). Sigmund Freud and James Putnam: Friendship as a form of sublimation. Pastoral Psychology, 58 (in press).Google Scholar
  14. Capps, D., & Carlin, N. (2009c). Freud’s wolf man: A case of unsuccessful religious sublimation. Pastoral Psychology, 58 (in press).Google Scholar
  15. Carlin, N., & Capps, D. (2008). Consciousness, the vegetative state, and the intrinsic value of life. Pastoral Psychology, 57, 223–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carlin, N., & Capps, D. (2009). Coming to terms with our regrets. Journal of Religion and Health, 48 (in press).Google Scholar
  17. Carney, R. (1998). When mind is a verb: Thomas Eakins and the work of doing. In M. Dickstein (Ed.), The revival of pragmatism: New essays on social thought, law and culture (pp. 377–403). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dormandy, T. (2000). Old masters: Great artists in old age. New York: Hambleton and London.Google Scholar
  19. Dykstra, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). Images of pastoral care: Classic readings. St. Louis: Chalice.Google Scholar
  20. Dykstra, R. C., Cole Jr., A. H., & Capps, D. (2007). Losers, loners, and rebels: The spiritual struggles of boys. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.Google Scholar
  21. Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  22. Erikson, E. H. (1958). Young man Luther: A study in psychoanalysis and history. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  23. Erikson, J. M., Loveless, D., & Loveless, J. (1976). Activity, recovery, growth: The communal role of planned activities. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  24. Galenson, D. W. (2006). Old masters and young geniuses: The two life cycles of artistic creativity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  25. James, W. (1987). Address at the centenary of Ralph Waldo Emerson, May 25, 1903. In B. Kuklick (Ed.), William James: Writings 1902–1910 (pp. 1119–1125). New York: The Library of America.Google Scholar
  26. Miller-McLemore, B. (1996). The living human web: Pastoral theology at the turn of the century. In J. S. Moessner (Ed.), Through the eyes of women: Insights for pastoral care (pp. 9–26). Minneapolis: Fortress.Google Scholar
  27. Morris, J. N. (1966). Versions of the self. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  28. Richardson, R. D. (2006). William James: In the maelstrom of American modernism. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  29. Riley, C. A. (1995). Color codes: Modern theories of color in philosophy, painting and architecture, literature, music, and psychology. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  30. Zollner, F. (2000). Leonardo. Koln: Taschen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton Theological SeminaryPrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations