Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 21–28 | Cite as

An object relations paradigm for spiritual development with highlights from Merton's spiritual journey

  • Philip R. Magaletta


This essay reviews personality development from an object relations perspective. The major principles of this personality theory are then applied to spiritual development. The validity of this application is revealed in a consideration of autobiographical text from Thomas Merton. Merton's seemingly divergent experiences of contemplation and action are placed within an object relations paradigm of spiritual development thus highlighting the applicability of bridging object relations theory to spiritual development.


Relation Theory Cross Cultural Psychology Personality Development Object Relation Personality Theory 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip R. Magaletta
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S.P. AllenwoodWhite Deer

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