Jesus and Psychology
Fraser N. Watts
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Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd (August 20, 2007)
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A collaborative study, Jesus and Psychology shows how psychology can be used to illuminate the historical and modern portrayals of Jesus, the wisdom of his sayings and the reasons people read and understand the Bible differently. The book is divided into three sections. In the first, Fraser Watts opens with a discussion of the value of a psychological approach to the Gospels. Contributor Justin J. Meggitt follows with an essay on the potential contributions made by a psychological study of the historical Jesus. Liz Gulliford then offers an analysis of three contemporary filmsJesus Christ Superstar, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Passion of the Christshedding light on the psychological dilemma of whether to portray Jesus as human or divine and how to integrate the two. Sara Savage begins the next section with a comparison of contemporary methods of psychological therapy and studies the way Jesus responded to the people that he met. Fraser Watts continues the discussion with a look at threads of psychological meaning in Jesus teachings. Beaumont Stevenson then looks at the importance of the breaking of taboos that occur at several crucial points in the gospel narrative. Jesse W. Abell draws on the frameworks of cognitive psychology to illustrate how our own thought processes affect our readings of texts like the Gospels, James Day finishes the section with a discussion of developmental psychology and how an individuals personal developments is likely to influence how he or she interprets the Gospels. In the third section of the book, Leslie J. Francis explores Jungian personality types and how they can affect an individuals reading of the Gospels. Everett L. Worthington Jr. then examines the value people give to virtue is shown to have significant implications on what is perceived as the central message of the scriptures and also on the interpretation of the interplay between justice, mercy, grace and forgiveness. Jesus and Psychology presents new scholarship in the field of psychology and religion while extending the global science-religion dialogue.
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