Table of contents
About this book
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.