Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 470–482 | Cite as

From “The Depleted Self” to “The Will to Believe”: Excavating the Hermeneutics of Donald Capps

  • Yolanda Dreyer
Original Paper
  • 100 Downloads

Abstract

The concept of “reframing” lies at the heart of the pastoral psychology of Donald Capps. In previous articles I have argued that the process of reframing follows a circular hermeneutics. An excavation of Capps’ hermeneutics reveals foundations in the fields of philosophy and psychology. This article focuses on the legacy of Johann Gottfried von Herder, Friedrich Schleiermacher, William James and Paul Ricoeur. It explores the differences and commonalities between William James and Friedrich Schleiermacher’s understanding of religious experience as well as Paul Ricoeur’s understanding of narrativity and traces these strains to Capps’ pastoral psychology. As illustration of his pastoral approach to healing and wholeness the problem of “the depleted self,” so prevalent in “our narcissistic age,” encounters the healing narrative of Jesus that appeals to “the will to believe.”

Keywords

Donald Capps Pastoral psychology Hermeneutics Religious experience 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the New Directions in Practical Theology Group which meets in Princeton annually, for their feedback on my work in pastoral psychology and on the oeuvre of Donald Capps that has culminated in this dedication. The article is dedicated to Donald Capps, whose gentle soul and reflective insights have been a guiding light in my life for the past 28 years. And the light shines on …

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declared that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.

References

  1. Adorno, T. (1967/1981). Prisms. (S. Weber & S. Weber, Trans.) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Albrecht, C. (1994). Schleiermachers Theorie der Frömmigkeit: Ihr wissenschaftliche Ort und ihr systematischer Gehalt in den Redden, in der Glaubenslehre und in der Dialektik. Berlin: De Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander, G. T. (1979). Psychological foundations of William James’s theory of religious experience. The Journal of Religion, 59(4), 421–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barrett, J. (2011). Cognitive science, religion and theology: From human minds to divine minds. Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press. (Templeton Science and Religion Series).Google Scholar
  5. Bourguignon, E. (1973). Religion, altered states of consciousness and social change. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, W. S. (1998). Cognitive contributions to soul. In W. S. Brown, N. Murphy, & H. N. Maloney (Eds.), Whatever happened to the soul? Scientific and theological portraits of human nature (pp. 99–126). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.Google Scholar
  7. Capps, D. (1980). Pastoral counseling and preaching: A quest for an integrated ministry. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster.Google Scholar
  8. Capps, D. (1981). Biblical approaches to pastoral counseling. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster.Google Scholar
  9. Capps, D. (1984). Pastoral care and hermeneutics. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress.Google Scholar
  10. Capps, D. (1990). Reframing: A new method in pastoral care. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.Google Scholar
  11. Capps, D. (1993). The depleted self: Sin in a narcissistic age. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.Google Scholar
  12. Capps, D. (1995). The child’s song: The religious abuse of children. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.Google Scholar
  13. Capps, D. (2001). Agents of hope: A pastoral psychology. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock.Google Scholar
  14. Capps, D. (2008). Jesus the village psychiatrist. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.Google Scholar
  15. Capps, D. (2010). Jesus the village psychiatrist: A summary. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 66(1), 1–5. doi: 10.4102/hts.v66i1.822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crangle, E. F. (1996). Concerning the truth about ultimate things. Applied Language and Literary Research 1(1), viewed on 28 February 2017, at http://www.cowan.edu.au/ses/research/CALLR!onlinejournaV1996/1996titles.htm.
  17. D’Aquili, E. G., & Newberg, B. (1998). The neuropsychological basis of religions or Why God won’t go away. Zygon, 33, 187–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. D’Aquili, E. G., & Newberg, B. (1999). The mystical mind: Probing the biology of religious experience. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, R. C., & Schleifer, R. (1991). Criticisms and culture: The role of critique in modern literary theory. Essex: Longman.Google Scholar
  20. Dreyer, Y. (2005). Reflections on Donald Capps’ hermeneutical model of pastoral care. HTS Theological Studies, 61(5), 109–130.Google Scholar
  21. Dreyer, Y. (2014). From affect to mood: Homophobia as case in point. Pastoral Psychology, 63(5), 597–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dumbreck, G. (2012). Schleiermacher and religious feeling. Leuven: Peeters. (Studies in Philosophical Theology 490).Google Scholar
  23. Gräb, W. (2005). Practical theology as theology of religion: Schleiermacher’s understanding of practical theology as a discipline. International Journal of Practical Theology, 9, 181–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grondin, J. (1994). Introduction to philosophical hermeneutics. (J. Weinsheimer, Trans.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. (Yale Studies in Hermeneutics).Google Scholar
  25. Herder, J. G. (2002). On the cognition and sensation of the human soul. In M. N. Forster (Ed.), Herder: Philosophical Writings. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (pp. 187–244). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1778).Google Scholar
  26. Herder, J. G. (2009a). Introduction. In G. Moore (Ed.), Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected writings on aesthetics (pp. 1–30). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Herder, J. G. (2009b). Is the beauty of the body a herald of the beauty of the soul? In G. Moore (Ed.), Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected writings on aesthetics (pp. 31–40). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Herder, J. G. (2009c). Critical forests, or reflections on the art and science of the beautiful: First grove, dedicated to Mr. Lessing’s Laocoön”. In G. Moore (Ed.), Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected writings on aesthetics (pp. 51–176). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Herder, J. G. (2009d). Critical forests: Fourth Grove on Riedel’s theory of beaux arts. In G. Moore (Ed.), Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected writings on aesthetics (pp. 177–290). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Herder, J. G. (2009e). Do paintings of music have a greater effect? A divine colloquy. In G. Moore (Ed.), Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected writings on aesthetics (pp. 347–357). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Herder, J. G. (2009f). On image, poetry, and fable. In G. Moore (Ed.), Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected writings on aesthetics (pp. 357–382). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  32. James, W. (1956). The will to believe. In W. James (Ed.), The will to believe and other essays in popular philosophy (pp. 1–31). New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  33. James, W. (1958). The varieties of religious experience. New York: New American Library.Google Scholar
  34. James, W. (2007). Principles of psychology. New York: Cosimo. (Original work published 1890).Google Scholar
  35. Jeeves, M., & Brown, W. S. (2009). Neuroscience psychology and religion: Illusions, delusions, and realities about human nature. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press. (Templeton Science and Religion Series).Google Scholar
  36. Kant, I. (1781). Kritik der reinen Vernunft. In Stiller, H. J. (Ed.) Riga. Viewed on 28 February at joachimstiller.de/download/philosophie_kantkritik1.pdf. Google Scholar
  37. Kant, I. (1793). Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft. Königsberg: Nicolovius, viewed on 28 February, at www.zeno.org/…/Kant…/Die+Religion+innerhalb+der+Grenzen+de.
  38. Kearney, R. (2004). On Paul Ricoeur: The owl of Minerva. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  39. Kohut, H., & Wolf, E. S. (1986). The disorders of the self and their treatment: An outline. In A. P. Morrison (Ed.), Essential papers on narcissism (pp. 175–196). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Legrand, L. (2000). The Bible on culture: Belonging or dissenting?. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  41. Leichter, D. J. (2012). Collective identity and collective memory in the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. Études Ricoeuriennes/Ricoeur Studies, 3(1), 114–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McAdams, D. P. (1993). The stories we live by: Personal myths and the making of the self. New York: William Murrow.Google Scholar
  43. McDermott, J. J. (1982). Essays in religion and morality: Works of William James. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  44. McLeod, J. (1997). Narrative and psychotherapy. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Niebuhr, R. R. (1962). Schleiermacher: Theology as human reflection. The Harvard Theological Review, 55(1), 21–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Polkinghorne, D. E. (1988). Narrative knowing and the human sciences. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  47. Ricoeur, P. (1981). Hermeneutics and the human sciences, (J. B. Thompson Trans. & Ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Ricoeur, P. (1984). Time and narrative. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  49. Ricoeur, P., & Kearney, R. (1978). Myth as the bearer of possible worlds. The Crane Bag, 2(1–2), 112–118.Google Scholar
  50. Sarbin, T. R. (Ed.). (1986). Narrative Psychology: The storied nature of human conduct. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  51. Sarbin, T. R. (1989). Emotions as narrative emplotments. In M. J. Packer & R. B. Addison (Eds.), Entering the circle: Hermeneutic investigation in psychology (pp. 185–201). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  52. Schleiermacher, F. D. E. (1976). The Christian faith (2nd ed.). (H. R. Mackintosh & J. S. Stewart, Trans.). Edinburgh: T & T Clark. (Original work published 1830).Google Scholar
  53. Schleiermacher, F. D. E. (1996). On Religion: Speeches to its cultured despisers. (R. Crouter, Trans.). Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press. (Original work published 1799).Google Scholar
  54. Schröder, M. (1996). Die kritische Identität des neuzeitlichen Christentums: Schleiermachers Wesenbestimmung der christlichen Religion. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.Google Scholar
  55. Schröder, C. (2000). The productive vagueness of an untranslatable relationship. In G. Sauter & J. Barton (Eds.), Revelation and story: Narrative theology and the centrality of story (pp. 175–187). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  56. Spence, D. P. (1982). Narrative truth and historical truth: Meaning and interpretation in psychoanalysis. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  57. Taylor, E. (2011). William James on consciousness beyond the margin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Van Aarde, A. (2013). Little faith as an alternating state of religious consciousness: A pragmatic-empirical perspective on Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus’ disciples. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, 39, 187–213.Google Scholar
  59. Van Huyssteen, W. (2006). Alone in the world? Human uniqueness in science and theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.Google Scholar
  60. White, M., & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative means to therapeutic ends. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  61. Whiten, A. (2007). The place of “deep social mind” in the evolution of human nature. In C. A. Pasternak (Ed.), What makes us human (pp. 146–163). Oxford: Oneworld Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of TheologyUniversity of PretoriaHatfield, PretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations