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Psychological Insight into Scripture: New Directions in Biblical Studies*
An introduction to psychological biblical criticism, exploring the contributions of C. G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Viktor Frankl, along with insights from cognitive , developmental and behavioral psychology, toward an understanding of the human psyche (soul) and its role in the history of the Bible and biblical interpretation. It will examine biblical stories (from Adam and Eve to the Wedding at Cana) , biblical religious experience ( dreams, visions, conversion, speaking in tongues) and biblical portraits (Ezekiel, Paul, Moses, and Jesus). It will also study the transaction between biblical texts and readers, noting therapeutic and pathogenic effects. Activities include sessions with Walter Wink’s “transforming Bible study.”
Thursdays from 4:30-7:30 starting September 6
An introduction to psychological biblical criticism, exploring the contributions of C. G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Viktor Frankl, along with insights from cognitive, developmental and behavioral psychology, toward an understanding of the human psyche (soul) and its role in the history of the Bible and biblical interpretation. It will examine biblical stories (from Adam and Eve to the Wedding at Cana) , biblical religious experience (dreams, visions, conversion, speaking in tongues) and biblical portraits (Ezekiel, Paul, Moses, and Jesus). It will also study the transaction between biblical texts and readers, noting therapeutic and pathogenic effects. Activities include sessions with Walter Wink’s “transforming Bible study.”
“Everything to do with religion, everything it is and asserts, touches the human soul so closely that psychology least of all can afford to overlook it.” - C. G. Jung
“The fate of the world is determined by what happens in the human soul.” - Hans Carossa
“We do not yet grasp what historical forces brought forth and determined early Christianity. But beside and within this external history there is an inner history . . . . Anyone who thinks that this religion can be illumined historically and factually without psychological reflection is just as much in error as one who pretends that everything about this religion can be said in this fashion.” -Gerd Theissen
“. . . Words not only convey something, but are something . . . [they] have color, depth, texture of their own, and the power to evoke vastly more than they mean; . . . words can be used not merely to make things clear, . . . but to make things happen inside the one who reads them or hears them.” -Frederick Buechner
Books for Purchase
- Jung, Carl Gustav. Man and His Symbols. New York: Doubleday, 1964.
- Miller, John W. Jesus at Thirty: A Psychological and Historical Portrait. Minneapolis: Augsburg/Fortress, 1997. (=Miller)
- Rollins, Wayne G. and D. Andrew Kille, Eds. (2007). Psychological Insight into the Bible: Texts and Readings. Grand Rapids, MI, Eerdmans (= PIITB)
- Wink, Walter. Transforming Bible Study: A Leader's Guide. 2nd, revised ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 1989. (= Wink)
- To understand Scripture as a soul book, produced by the soul (psyche), addressed to the soul (psyche), for the care and cure of the soul (psyche). The word psyche occurs over a hundred times in the New Testament, referring to the inner living self. This means that the Bible is to be seen not only as the product of historical, social, literary, and revelatory processes. It is quintessentially the product of a psychic process in which conscious and unconscious factors are at work in the biblical authors and their communities, in the texts they have produced, in readers and interpreters of these texts and their communities, and in the historical “effects” of Scripture in the lives of individuals and cultures over the centuries, for both good and ill.
- To come to an informed historical and semantic understanding of the words “soul” and “psyche” in Aristotelian, Greco-Roman, biblical, and contemporary use\age.
- To examine the story of the emergence of the new discipline of psychological biblical criticism, beginning in the late 1960s in the context of the new developments in biblical scholarship in the last three decades (e.g., feminist, liberationist, ideological, and cultural criticism), with a survey of the new literature in the field.
- To explore the foundational contributions of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud to a fuller understanding of the self, and also to a psychological critical approach to the Bible, with special emphasis on its rich repertory of myths, legends, history, laws, psalms, proverbs, prophetic vision, gospels, parables, letters, and apocalypses
- To consider the contributions of cognitive, developmental, and behavioral psychology and object relations theory to biblical understanding.
- To explore the exegetical agenda of a psycho-spiritual approach to the Bible, with attention to select themes: biblical symbols and archetypes; psychodynamic factors at work in biblical narrative; the psychology of biblical personality portraits (e.g. Jesus of Nazareth, King Saul, Ezekiel, Paul, and Judas Iscariot); the psychology of biblical religious experience (e.g. glossolalia, dreams, conversion); the psychology of biblical ethics; and biblical psychology.
- To explore the hermeneutical agenda of a psycho-spiritual approach to the Bible, with attention to select themes: the effects of texts on readers; the effect of readers on texts; the “performance” of texts through drama, music, liturgy, soup kitchens, and creeds; and the history of biblical effects, both pathogenic and therapeutic.
- To experiment with Walter Wink’s Transforming Bible Study approach as a workshop demonstration of the psychodynamics at work between text and reader.
- Attendance. and classroom exchange is as important as the reading. ( 1/6 of grade) (BYOB, each session)
- Book Review*: Credit participants are to make one book review presentation (with a written copy submitted to the instructor as a basis for grading, one week after the oral report). See the attached Book Review Selection sheet and bring a list of your top three choices for the “lottery” selection on the opening class session. The review is to include the following: (a) a substantive précis or overview of the book in relation to this course, (b) a brief discussion of five to ten ideas you have found worth thinking about, explaining why, and (c) the presentation of one important issue for class discussion. The reviewer is encouraged to prepare some “visuals” (hand-outs, chalk-board outlines, overhead projector transparencies, etc.) or a class participation exercise to enhance communication. (2/6 of the grade).
- Final Project*: A 10-20 page paper due on a date in late December or early January, to be determined in class. A 3x5 topic proposal, including proposed title and descriptive paragraph of proposed objectives, due on Nov. 8. (3/6 of grade)
* Required of credit and CEU participants only. All academic papers are to conform to conventional technical, grammatical, and stylistic standards referred to in the General Guidelines for a Research Paper. The Hartford Seminary Grading Guidelines will be the standard of evaluation for the course.
Class Meeting Schedule and Assignments
Sept. 6 Prospectus: Jung and the Bible - Where Psychology and Biblical Studies Meet
Read “Approaching the Unconscious,” the first essay in Man and His Symbols (New York: Doubleday, 1964), or one of many other editions). Please come prepared with five ideas, issues, or problems for class discussion. Also, read Rollins and Kille, Psychological Insights Into the Bible: Texts and Readings (pp. v, xii-xiv, xv-xix) on the goals of psychological biblical criticism as insight into Scripture and the readers of Scripture. Power Point presentation on the place where psychology, scripture, and religion meet in the life and thought of C. G. Jung.
Sept. 13 Exploring Symbols, Archetypes and Walter Wink’s “Transforming Bible Study
Read PIITB, chapter 6, Biblical Symbols and Archetypal Images, 99-113. Jot down five ideas that interested (or perplexed) you, and two questions you would like to discuss.
Read Wink, Transforming Bible Study, the preface and first two chapters ( pp. 1-2, 14-42). Jot your response to questions on the assignment sheet (to be distributed in class): “Walter Wink’s ‘Transforming Bible Study’ and This Course.” Wink class exercise on Luke 12:22-31 on “Anxiety”
Sept. 20 Freud, the Man, the Mission, and Scripture
Read PIITB, chapter 2, “The Care and Cure of the Soul,” 22-39. Bring one idea that the Rollins, Cousineau, and Anderson readings each bring to the table.
Read PIITB, and chapter 3, “Freud and Jung,” 40-55. Bring an observation apiece from the Rollins, Rashkow (3 ), and Newheart readings on what’s to be gained from reading the Bible through a Freudian or Jungian lens.
Read the class handout excerpt of Freud’s Future of an Illusion, jotting your responses on the accompanying question sheet.
Sept. 27 The Contribution of Viktor Frankl’s Existential Psychotherapy and Logotherapy: Its Relevance for Biblical Understanding
Read PIITB, chapter 4, “Behavioral, Learning, Object Relations and Developmental Approaches,” 56-78, and What do we learn about the light that different schools within the field of “psychological studies” bring to our understanding of the Bible ? Bring examples from the readings.
Read the handout on excerpts from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, jotting responses to the sheet of questions/reflections.
Wink class exercise on Mark 2:13-17: Eating with Sinners
Oct. 4 Psychological Biblical Studies From The First To The 21st Centuries: An Historical Overview With A Footnote On Eugen Drewermann’s Signal Contribution
Read Rollins and Kille, Psychological Insights Into the Bible: Texts and Readings, Chapter One: “Past, Present, and Future” ( pp. 3-4, and Readings 1.2 and 1.3 by Fletcher and Rollins on pp. 11-21). Special handout : Review of Matthias Beier, A Violent God-Image: An Introduction to the Work of Eugen Drewermann by W.G.Rollins
Oct. 11. Psychology and Exegesis : Biblical Genres and Biblical Texts in Psychodynamic Perspective
Read PIITB, Chapter 9. “Dynamics of Biblical Texts: Hebrew Scriptures,”
9.1, “ The Story of Ádam and Eve,” 160-165;
9.2, Story of Jonah, 166-170;
9.3, Ten commandments, 171-74];
Oct. 18 Chapter 10, “Dynamics of Biblical Texts: New Testament,”
Read Intro. 175-77;
10.1, Wedding at Cana, 177-80;
10.2, Christ and Antichrist, 181-88;
10.3, Theology of Paul, 188-91].
Wink class exercise on Matt. 25:14-30, Parable of the Talents.
Oct. 25 , Biblical Religious Experience in Psychodynamic Perspective, Part One
Read PIITB, Chapter 11, “Biblical Religious Experience: Dreams, Prophecy, and Healing”
11.1, “Dreams and Visions in the Bible,” 194-99;
11.2, Psychology of the Prophets, 199-204;
11.3. Healing, 204-210],
Nov. 1 Biblical Religious Experience in Psychodynamic Perspective, Part Two
Read PIITB, Chapter 12, “Biblical Religious Experience: The Demonic and Exorcism, Glossolalia, and Conversion”
12.1, “Gerasene Demoniac, 214-19;
12.2, Glossolalia – Language of the Unconscious? 219-25;
12.3, On Conversion, 226-28.
Special section on Paul and the Psychology of Biblical Ethics
Nov. 8 Biblical Personalities in Psychological Perspective:Ezekiel, Paul, Moses and Jesus
Read PIITB, Chapter 7, “Biblical Personalities: Ezekiel and Paul,” 116-37,
7.1 Seeking Ezekiel , 118-26
7.2 Psychological Perspectives on the Life of Paul , 127-136
Chapter 8, “Biblical Personalities: Moses and Jesus”
8.1 Moses and Yahweh141-149
[8.2 Jesus at Thirty, 149-156]
Nov.15 Assignment in John W. Miller, Jesus at Thirty: A Psychological and Historical Portrait,
Chap. 2. The Starting Point Ch. 5 Jesus and His Mother Ch. 8, Generativity
Ch. 3 The Turning Point Ch. 6 Satan Ch. 9 Jesus at Thirty
Ch. 4 Jesus and His Father Ch. 7, Sexuality
.Wink exercise on Blind Bartimaeus, Mark 10:46-52
Nov.29. Psychology and Hermeneutics: What Texts Bring to Readers and Readers to Texts
Read PIITB, Chapter 5, “Between Texts and Readers,” 79-96.
5.1 The Psychology of Biblical Interpretation, 81-86
5.2 Viewpoints: Perspectives of Faith and Christian Nurture, 86-95
5.3 Personality Type and Scripture, 95-96
. Class handout on Psychological Insight into Hermeneutics
Dec. 6 The Pathogenic and the Therapeutic in Biblical Texts and Interpretations
Read PIITB, Chapter 13, “Biblical Effects: The Pathogenic and Therapeutic,” 230-47,
13.1 The Evolution of a Pauline Toxic Text
13.2 ‘The Bible Made Me Do It:’ Text, Interpretation and Violence
13.3 Basic Types of Pastoral Care and Counseling: Resources for the Ministry of Healing and Growth. (1984)
13.4 Biblical Stories for Psychotherapy and Counseling: A Sourcebook. (2004)
Dec. 13 On the Nature and Habits of the Soul in Biblical Perspective: Retrospect and Prospect Read Chapter 14 Biblical Psychology: On The Nature And Habits Of The Soul PTIIB(248-64)
14.1 What is Biblical Psychology?
14.2 Biblical Psychology in Paul and the Old Testament
14.3 The Human Being: Jesus and the Enigma of the Son of the Man
Dec. 20 Reading Week (No class session)
BOOK REVIEW SELECTION LIST FOR CREDIT STUDENTS
(Should you wish to report on a book not contained in this list, contact Professor Rollins by e-mail or phone for possible approval)
Alter, Margaret G. Resurrection Psychology: An Understanding of Human Personality Based on the Life and Teachings of Jesus. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1994.
Bettelheim, Bruno. Freud and Man's Soul. New York: Knopf, 1982.
Brown, Schuyler. Text and Psyche: Experiencing Scripture Today. New York: Continuum, 1998.
Capps, Donald. Jesus: A Psychological Biography. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.
Capps, Donald. Jesus the Village Psychiatrist Nashville: Westminster/ John Knox 2008.
Dolto, Francoise, and Gérard Sévérin. The Jesus of Psychoanalysis: A Freudian Interpretation of the Gospel. Translated by Helen R. Lane. New York: Doubleday, 1979.
Halperin, David J. Seeking Ezekiel, Text and Psychology. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993.
Hill, Jill, and Rand Cheadle. The Bible Tells Me So: Uses and Abuses of Holy Scripture. New York: Anchor Books/ Doubleday, 1996.
Johnson, Cedric B. The Psychology of Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983.
Jung, Carl Gustav. “Answer to Job.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, edited by et al. Gerhard Adler, 355-470. Princeton: Princeton University, 1953-78.
Jung, Carl Gustav. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Pantheon, 1963.
Kelsey, Morton. Dreams: The Dark Speech of the Spirit. New York: Doubleday, 1968.
Kille, D. Andrew. Psychological Biblical Criticism, Guides to Biblical Scholarship - Old Testament Series. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.
LaCocque, A., and P.-E. Lacocque. Jonah: A Psycho-Religious Approach to the Prophet. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1990.
McNish, Jill L. Transforming Shame: A Pastoral Response. New York: Haworth Press, 2004.
Newheart, Michael Willett. My Name is Legion: The Story and Soul of the Gerasene Demoniac, Interfaces. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.
Oates, Wayne E. Temptation. A Biblical and Psychological Approach. Louisville, KY: Westminster/ Knox, 1991.
Pfister, Oskar, and Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis and Faith: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister. Translated by Eric Mosbacher. Edited by Heinrich Meng and Ernst A. Freud. New York: Basic Books, 1963.
Rashkow, Ilona N. The Phallacy of Genesis: A Feminist-Psychoanalytic Approach, Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation. Louisville, KY: Westminster/ John Knox Press, 1993.
Rashkow, Ilona. Taboo or Not Taboo: Sexuality and Family in the Hebrew Bible. Miinneapolis: Fortress, 2000.
Rubenstein, Richard. My Brother Paul. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.
Sanford, John A. The Kingdom Within. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1970.
Sanford, John A. The Man Who Wrestled with God: Light from the Old Testament on the Psychology of Individuation. [1981, republished by Paulist; Ramsey, NJ] ed. King of Prussia, PA: Religious Publishing Co., 1974.
Scroggs, Robin. Paul for a New Day. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977.
Stewart, Elizabeth-Anne. Jesus the Holy Fool. Franklin, WI: Sheed & Ward, 1999.
Theissen, Gerd. Psychological Aspects of Pauline Theology. Translated by John P. Galvin. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987.
Vitz, Paul C. Sigmund Freud's Christian Unconscious. New York: Guilford Press, 1988.
Westman, Heinz. The Structure of Biblical Myths: The Ontogenesis of the Psyche. Dallas, TX: Spring Publications, Inc., 1983.
Wink, Walter. The Human Being: Jesus and The Enigma of the Son of the Man. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.
Wuellner, Wilhelm H., and Robert C. Leslie. The Surprising Gospel: Intriguing Psychological Insights from the New Testament. Nashville: Abingdon, 1984.
Zeligs, Dorothy. Psychoanalysis and the Bible: A Study in Depth of Seven Leaders. New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1974.
Additional Select Bibliography on Psychology and the Bible
Bal, Mieke. "Dealing! with Women: Daughters in the book of Judges." In The Book and the Text: The Bible and Literary Theory, edited by Regina M. Schwartz, 16-39. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990.
Beier, Matthias. A Violent God-Image: An Introduction to the Work of Eugen Drewermann. New York: Continuum, 2004.
Bennet, E. A. What Jung Really Said. New York: Schocken Books, 1966.
Burleson, Blake. Jung in Africa. New York: Continuum International Publishing Co.,2005.
Brunner, Emil. "Biblical Psychology." In God and Man: Four Essays on the Nature of Personality, 136-178. London: SCM Press, 1946.
Campbell, Joseph, ed. The Portable Jung. New York: Viking Press, 1971.
Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York: Pantheon Books, 1949.
Capps, Donald. Biblical Approaches to Pastoral Counseling. Philadelphia: Westminster,1981.
Capps, Donald. Jesus the Village Psychiatrist Nashville: Westminster/ John Knox 2008.
Clift, Jean Dalby, and Wallace B. Clift. Symbols of Transformation in Dreams. New York: Crossroads, 1984.
Cousineau, Phil, ed. Soul: An Archaeology: Readings from Socrates to Ray Charles. San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco, 1994.
Cox, David. "Jung and St. Paul." Pastoral Psychology 10, no. April (1959): 35-42.
Ellens, 1. Harold, and Wayne G. Rollins, eds. Psychology and the Bible: A New Way to Read the Scriptures. 4 vols. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004.
Davis III, Charles T .. "Revelation Seventeen: The Apocalypse as Psychic Drama." In Psychology and the Bible: A New Way to Read the Scriptures, edited by J. Harold Ellens and Wayne G. Rollins, 213-230. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004.
Delitzsch, Franz. A System of Biblical Psychology [= System der biblischen Psychologie.
Leipzig: Dorffling & Franke, 1861; ET, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1869]. Translated by A. E. Wallis. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1869 .
Dolto, Francoise, and Gerard Severin. The Jesus of Psychoanalysis: A Freudian Interpretation of the Gospel. Translated by Helen R Lane. New York: Doubleday, 1979.
Dourley, John P. The Illness That We Are: A Jungian Critique of Christianity. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1984.
Edinger, Edward. The Bible & the Psyche: Individuation Symbolism in the Old Testament. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1986.
Ellenberger, Henri F. The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry. New York: Basic Books, 1970.
Ellens, J. Harold, and Wayne G. Rollins, eds. Psychology and the Bible: A New Way to Read the Scriptures. 4 vols. Vol. 1-4. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004.
Fletcher, M. Scott. The Psychology of the New Testament. 2nd ed. New York: Hodder &
Frankl, Viktor. Man's Search for Meaning. Boston: Beacon Press, 1962.
Frankl, Viktor. The Unconscious God. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1975.
Freud, Sigmund. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Edited by James Strachey. 24 vols. London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1953-1974.
Fuller, Robert C. Americans and the Unconscious. New York: Oxford, 1986.
Girard, Rene. The Bible, Violence, and the Sacred: Liberation from the Myths of Sanctioned Violence. San Francisco: Torch, 1991.
Goodenough, Erwin R. Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period. 13 vols, Bollingen
Series 37. New York: Pantheon, 1953-68.
Grant, Frederick C. "Psychological Study of the Bible." In Religions in Antiquity: Essays
in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough, edited by Jacob Neusner, 107-124.
Leiden: Brill, 1968.
Greven, Philip. Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the
Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse. First Vintage Books Edition. New
York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1992 .
Hall, Granville Stanley. Jesus, the Christ, in the Light of Psychology. New York:
Appleton & Co. ed. 2 vols. Also published Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1917.
Hamerton-Kelly, Robert G. Sacred Violence: Paul's Hermeneutic of the Cross. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.
Harding, M. Esther. "The Cross as an Archetypal Symbol." In Carl Jung and Christian Spirituality, edited by Robert L. Moore, 1-15. New York: Paulist, 1988.
Harsch, Helmut. "Psychologische Interpretation biblischer Texte?" In Wege Zum Menschen: Festschrift fur Adolf Koberle, edited byU. Mann et al., 281-289. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1968.
Henry, Patrick. "Water, Bread, Wine: Patterns in Religion." In New Directions in New Testament Study, 203-224. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1979.
Heron, Laurence T. ESP in the Bible. Garden City, NT: Doubleday, 1974.
Hillman, James. Re-Visioning Psychology. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.
Homans, Peter. "Psychology and Hermeneutics: Jung's Contribution." Zygon 4 (1969):
Jacobi, Jolande. Complex, Archetype, Symbol in the Psychology of C. G. Jung. Translated by Ralph Mannheirn, Bollingen Series LVII. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959.
Jaffe, Aniela. From the Life and Work of C G. Jung. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1971.
James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience. New York: Penguin Classics, 1902 .
Jung, Carl G. "Christ, A Symbol of the Self" In Personality and Religion: The Role of Religion in Personality Development, edited by William A. Sadler, Jr., 135-145. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. or in CW IX.2.
Kelsey, Morton. Christopsychology. New York: Crossroad, 1982.
Kille, D. Andrew. Psychological Biblical Criticism, Guides to Biblical Scholarship - Old
Testament Series. Minneapolis: Fortress, 200l.
Kristeva, Julia. "Semiotics of Biblical Abomination." In Powers of Horror: An Essay Abjection, 113-132. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.
Lang, Bernhard. Eugen Drewermann, interprete de la Bible. Paris: Les editions du Cerfs, 1994.
Lapointe, F. H. "Origin and Evolution of the Term Psychology." American Psychologist 25 (1970): 640-46.
Miles, Jack. "Jesus Before He Could Talk." New York Times Magazine,. December 24, 1995 (1995): 28-33.
Miller, David L. Christs: Meditations on Archetypal Images in Christian Theology. New York: Seabury, 1981 .
Miller, David L., ed. Jung and the Interpretation of the Bible. New York: Continuum, 1995.
Moore, Robert L., ed. Carl Jung and Christian Spirituality. New York: Paulist, 1988.
Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
Myers, I. Manual: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, California: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1962.
Philipson, M. Outline of a Jungian Aesthetics. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1963.
Powell, John, S. 1. Fully Human, Fully Alive: A New Life Through a New Vision. Niles, IL: Argus Communications, 1976.
Ricoeur, Paul. Essays on Biblical Interpretation. Edited by Lewis S. Mudge. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980.
Rollins, Wayne G. "The Myth of Redemptive Violence or the Myth of Redemptive Love " In The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Condensed and Updated Version), edited by J. Harold Ellens, 219-29. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2007.
Sanford, John A. The Invisible Partners: How the Male and Female in Each of Us Affects Our Relationships. New York: Paulist Press, 1980.
Sanford, John A. King Saul, The Tragic Hero: A Study in Individuation. New York: Paulist, 1985.
Scharfenberg, Joachim. Sigmund Freud and His Critique of Religion. Translated by 0, C. Dean, Jr. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988,
Singer, June. Boundaries of the Soul: The Practice of Jung's Psychology. New York: Doubleday, 1972.
Spiegel, Yorick. Psychoanalytische Interpretationen biblischer texte. Munich: C. Kaiser, 1972,
Stein, Murray, and Robert Moore, eds. Jung's Challenge to Contemporary Religion.
Wilmette, IL: Chiron, 1987.
Van de Kemp, Hendrika. "Origin and Evolution of the Term 'Psychology': Addenda."American Psychologist 35 (1980): 774.
Wehr, Gerhard. Jung: A biography. Translated by David M. Weeks. Boston: Shambala,1988,
White, Victor, O,p, God and the Unconscious: An Encounter between Psychology and Religion. New York: Meridian Books, 1952.
Wulff, David. Psychology of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Views. New York:
John Wiley and Sons, 1991.
A Letter to Participants in SC 660. “The Bible and the Habits
of the Soul: Psychological Perspectives on Scripture”.
In preparation for our five weeks together on “the Bible and the habits of the soul,” I would like you to read three introductory pieces as background for the first two sessions and a fourth for the third last session . I think you will find them interesting and “reader friendly.”
The first is the essay Carl Jung wrote just before he died in 1961, summarizing his discoveries about the nature of the human soul/psyche. The title is “Approaching the Unconscious,” the first essay in Man and His Symbols (New York: Doubleday, 1964, or one of many other editions). We will discuss this fascinating essay at the first class meeting. Please come prepared with five ideas, issues, or problems for class discussion.
The second assignment is the dedication, preface and foreword in Rollins and Kille, Psychological Insights Into the Bible: Texts and Readings (pp. v, xii-xiv, xv-xix.) Come prepared to make a stab at what questions and strategies lie at the heart of psychological approaches to the Bible and its interpretation.
A third assignment is a book that has changed many a parish Bible study group, Walter Wink’s Transforming Bible Study: A Leader’s Guide. Once you get started you will probably want to read the whole book. For starters please read the Preface, chapters one and two (pp. 11- 43). If you have time, skim chapters three and eight (44-65,109-27). We will be demonstrating “transforming Bible study” on a regular basis. If you would like to try your hand at leading a session, and have a passage you would like to explore, let me know by telephone or e-mail.
A fourth assignment is reading as much as possible into John Miller, Jesus at Thirty: A Psychological and Historical Portrait, gathering comments, observations, and questions for the June 22 session on “Biblical Personalities in Psychological Perspective.” Miller is a seasoned biblical scholar as well as a director of psychiatric rehabilitative services in a pastoral counseling setting.
I look forward to our time together. I hope it will provide you with a new way of understanding what we are about as pastors, ministers, or teachers of the Word, or as just plain “inquirers” into the mystery of the relationship between the Bible and reader on the human/divine journey, keeping in mind the observation of German poet Hans Carossa, “The fate of the world is determined by what happens in the human soul.”
Wayne G. Rollins
P.S. Credit students: please note also the Book Review Assignment under “Requirements.”
Jung, Carl Gustav. Man and His Symbols. New York: Doubleday, 1968. Buy now
Miller, John W. Jesus at Thirty: A Psychological and Historical Portrait. Minneapolis: Augsburg/Fortress, 1997. Buy now
Rollins, Wayne G. and D. Andrew Kille, Eds. Psychological Insight into the Bible: Texts and Readings. Grand Rapids, MI, Eerdmans, 2007. Buy now
Wink, Walter. Transforming Bible Study: A Leader's Guide. 2nd, revised ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 1989. Buy now