Reinhold Niebuhr and Psychology: The Ambiguities of the Self (Paperback)Terry D. Cooper
Paperback Published: 15/08/2009
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Reinhold Niebuhr and politics? Of course. Reinhold Niebuhr and social ethics? Absolutely. But Reinhold Niebuhr and psychology? It may at first seem to be a strange combination, yet Niebuhr's analysis of the human condition inevitably led him into a dialogue with psychology. Further, his theological anthropology, which many consider to be the most insightful in the twentieth century, greatly contributes to a psychological understanding of the human condition. Often writing with blazing insight and analytical genius, Niebuhr was an avid student of human nature. Further, Niebuhr frequently displayed a keen awareness of the complexities and contradictions in his own psyche. Put simply, one does not write with this level of penetrating insight and depth concerning the human psyche without a sophisticated self-understanding. Even though Niebuhr mined the depths of Kierkegaardian anxiety, wrote interesting critiques of Freud and the neo-Freudians, and spent most of his entire career explicating the human condition, the value of his thought for psychology has often been missed. Even in the areas of pastoral counseling, one does not find an abundance of references to Niebuhr. This book attempts to demonstrate why Niebuhr is still very important for any account of the human condition. More particularly, it brings Niebuhr into dialogue with Freud, Horney, Rogers, Kohut, Jung, and other key psychological thinkers. This work argues that Niebuhr was both an astute critic of some forms of psychology, as well as a great contributor to the human sciences. Ideal for class discussion, this book is a helpful resource for psychologists, pastoral counselors, academics, and anyone interested in the relationship between psychology and religion. Readers who enjoyed "Paul Tillich and Psychology" will also appreciate this second book in Cooper's trilogy relating major theologians to psychology.
Publisher: Mercer University Press