Special Issue "Christian Psychology: Past, Present, and Future"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2013).
Interests: Christian psychotherapy and developmental psychology; attribution theory; philosophy of the human sciences; transdisciplinary scholarship
When most people today think of psychology, they have in mind the version that arose in the late 1800’s, based on the worldview of naturalism and the application of natural science methods to the study of human experience and behavior, which became the dominant approach to psychology in the West in the 20th century. However, every complex culture in human history has developed some version of psychology, considered as a body of knowledge and practice concerned with understanding individual human beings and promoting their wellbeing. In the centuries since its founding, the Christian community has developed a rich and distinctive body of knowledge and practice that warrants the label Christian psychology.
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1854), for example, described himself as a Christian psychologist, wrote penetrating analyses of the human condition, and developed a number of significant existential/critical psychological models of the emotions, motivation, human flourishing, the unconscious, stage development, abnormality, and remediation, from a distinctly Christian perspective—before Freud was even born—that differ in significant ways from those of modern psychology.
A renewal of interest in Christian psychology began two to three decades ago in Europe and the USA, inspired in some cases by the charismatic movement and in others by the resurgence of Christian philosophy. Contemporary Christian psychology, therefore, is in its infancy. In dialogue with other versions of psychology, the agenda of a Christian psychology is the development of distinctively Christian psychological theory, research programs, and clinical practice, based on a Christian worldview and derived from Christianity’s many intellectual and soul-care traditions, in areas of psychology where worldview assumptions appear to make a difference in the deliverances of scientific activity.
Prof. Dr. Eric L. Johnson
Manuscript Submission Information
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- history of psychology
- philosophy of science
- theistic psychology
- folk psychology