Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies

Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies

Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies

Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies


"In this edition Browning and his new co-author show how the field of social science has indeed grasped and appropriated the hermeneutical approach, though with only slight appreciation of the religious dimensions of the social-scientific endeavor. Along with a thorough updating of the discussion, new chapters open a dialogue with psychotherapeutic theorists and evangelical writers on the relation of theology and psychology." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Many new trends have touched the fields of psychology and psychotherapy since Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies was published in 1987. Furthermore, there have been several scholarly responses to its central thesis, i.e., that the modern psychotherapeutic psychologies are not strictly scientific. They should be viewed, instead, as mixed disciplines blending psychological insights with both ethical and quasi-religious assumptions. Some of these responses agreed with this point of view and applied it to the analysis of schools of psychology and psychotherapy that were not reviewed in the first edition.

In this second edition, we will examine some new schools of psychotherapeutic psychology. We will do this in part with the help of other scholars who have extended in their writing our original thesis to additional schools of psychology. At the same time, we will be in critical dialogue with these same scholars; even though they make use of Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies, they invariably have their own philosophical and methodological twists to add. Hence, we have interesting differences even with those who have used our insights.

The reader will have noticed that the pronoun “we” is being used in this preface. This is to inform you of something that is clear enough on the cover of the book: the second edition is the product of two authors, not just one. the first edition was written by Don Browning. in this second edition, Browning is joined by Professor Terry Cooper. While finishing his second doctorate, Cooper did extensive work with Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies and began consulting with Browning about how to develop the second edition. Michael West of Fortress Press had encouraged a second edition as well. Hence, a partnership between Browning and Cooper was formed.

Here is how we have decided to sort the various uses of “I” and “we” throughout the revised text. in this preface, it is “we”; the plan for revision is a product of our joint deliberations and needs to be represented as such from the beginning. Throughout the original chapters of the first edition, i.e., the preface through chapters 1 to 9, Browning still speaks with the pronoun “I” even though the many revisions are a result of joint consultations between the two of us. Chapters 10 and 11 are entirely new. Although first drafted by Cooper, they subsequently have been so jointly revised that now the editorial “we” seems both appropriate and efficient.

Since 1987, there have been several new commentaries attempting to define what kind of discipline psychotherapeutic psychology actually is. Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies was one of the first books arguing that psychotherapy . . .

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