Academic journal article The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences

Christianity and Forensic Psychiatry

Academic journal article The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences

Christianity and Forensic Psychiatry

Article excerpt

Central issues in Christianity are those of suffering and redemption. Faith in God must of necessity be able to withstand the challenge of negative and painful events in the world. This is particularly relevant in the post-Holocaust era to understand how God is compatible with the attempted genocide of the Jewish people.

When Jesus died he was at the heart of darkness. He also had been punished by death for his alleged crimes. In a contemporary context, issues of life and death are relevant for offenders in which there are both clinical and theological elements.

The offender patient in the process of his or her recovery must undertake a pilgrimage towards self-acceptance This often involves the painful re-evaluation of early trauma which may have been brutal and rejecting. As with the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, however, the relationship of man with man is a reflection of man's relationship with God. In some offenders and offenderpatients, the degree of damage to the self is so severe that their relationship with God is also most difficult. The offender-patient may somehow wonder or ask God why He has forsaken him. …

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