The relationship between psychology and Christian theology has been one of the most important topics in the science and religion fields. Discussions, however, are too frequently one-sided. This book takes an alternative approach: following the lead of Fraser Watts, the contributions develop various aspects of the mutual enrichment of each discipline by the other. Moving beyond outdated models of conflict and independence, this book highlights areas of fruitful enhancement at the interface of Christian belief and practice with psychology.
Set out in four sections the book's chapters first engage methodological and substantive issues in the interdisciplinarity raised by the dialogue between psychology and theology. Second, chapters explore a variety of areas in which psychology enriches theology, looking at both historical and contemporary themes such as psychoanalysis, embodiment and mindfulness. Chapters in the third section explore some of the theological enrichments of psychology, with topics including character strengths, wisdom and forgiveness. The final section engages aspects of mutual enrichment in religious life and pastoral care with an applied focus on mental health, meditation, prayer, spiritual direction and spirituality.
A refreshing alternative study of the mutual enrichment of psychology and theology with theoretical and practical applications, this book reinforces the need for both disciplines to pursue creative and constructive engagement with each other. Of interest to scholars in psychology, theology and religious studies this book will also be of interest more widely as a case study of successful interdisciplinary work.