"Religion and Psychology in Transition" by James W.              Jones

Religion and Psychology in Transition Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Theology James W. Jones

Publication date:
30 Oct 1996
Yale University Press
176 pages: 210 x 140mm
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In this thought-provoking book, clinical psychologist and professor of religious studies James W. Jones presents a dialogue between contemporary psychoanalytic thinking and contemporary theology. He sheds new light on the interaction of religion and psychology by viewing it from the perspective of world religions, providing an epistemological framework for the psychology of religion that draws on contemporary philosophy of science, and bringing out the importance of gender as a category of analysis.

Developments in psychoanalysis provide new resources for theological reflection, Jones contends. The Freudian view that human nature is isolated and instinctual has shifted to a vision of the self as constituted in and through relationships. Jones uses this relational model of human nature to explore the convergence between contemporary psychoanalysis, feminist theorizing, and themes in religious thought found in a variety of traditions. He also critiques the reductionism inherent in Freud's discussion of religion and proposes nonreductionistic and genuinely psychoanalytic ways for psychoanalysis to treat religious topics. For therapists, psychologists, theologians, and others interested in spiritual or psychological issues, Jones offers illuminating clinical material and insightful analysis.

James W. Jones is professor of religion at Rutgers University and a practicing clinical psychologist. He is the author of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and Transcendence, published by Yale University Press.

"Jones's originality derives from an ability to move between the perspectives and concerns of the clinician, the scholar of religious experience, and the faith-committed theologian."?John McDargh, Boston College

"Brief in length but broad in scope, this creative study is recommended for all academic libraries."?Choice

"Jones has shown us the ways in which psychoanalysis, feminism, and religion can enrich each other. . . . An exemplar of constructive interdisciplinary exploration."?Stephen A. Mitchell, Contemporary Psychology

"All who are interested in psychotherapy, human development, or spirituality will find much of value here."?Susan Leigh Deppe, M.D., Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"[Jones's] book is a thought-provoking, stimulating, and clearly written guide to a relational psychology of religion, worth reading just for its incisive critique of Freud's Oedipus complex, its lucid presentation of object relations theory. . . and its clear discussion of the work of many contemporary, psychologically minded theologians."?Margret Schaefer, Ph.D, Psychoanalytic Books

"More than any other contemporary scholar writing in the field of the psychology of religion, James W. Jones has centered his work on encouraging a dialogue between psychologists and theorists of religious studies."?Naomi R. Goldenberg, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Winner of an American Psychological Association 1993 award for distinguished contributions to psychology and religion