Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Thomas Verner Moore: Psychiatrist, Educator and Monk

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Thomas Verner Moore: Psychiatrist, Educator and Monk

Article excerpt

Thomas Verner Moore: Psychiatrist, Educator and Monk. By Benedict Neenan, O.S.B. (New York and Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. 2000. Pp. vi, 336. $29.95 paperback.)

This biography of Thomas Verner Moore (1877-1969) is a well-researched, well-organized, and well-presented revision of a doctoral dissertation written in the Department of Church History of The Catholic University of America. The author's major professor, Christopher J. Kauffman, contributes a foreword in which he introduces Moore, justly, as a "singularly fascinating figure" in the history of twentieth-century American Catholicism.

Moore came on the scene when "new models" of Catholic leaders had emerged. After its opening in 1889, The Catholic University of America provided a venue for some priest-scholars among them. As a young Paulist, Moore studied at the university under Edward A. Pace, a pioneer in experimental psychology, who himself had studied in Germany under Wilhelm Wundt, the founder of this new specialized field. Pace appreciated his student's aptitudes. Psychology and psychiatry became the fields of Moore's academic and clinical career, which he pursued until 1947.

Although rooted firmly in Thomistic philosophy, Moore was eclectic in his approach to his scientific work and clinical practice. Sometimes, as Neenan recounts, he was criticized by other Catholics for his acceptance of concepts or techniques that they considered incompatible with sound philosophy or doctrine. The varied sources of influence upon Moore, both in psychological theory and in clinical practice, are traced conveniently and adequately for general biographical purposes. …

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