Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology
What is at the root of the problem of humanity? Is it pride or lack of self-esteem? Do we love ourselves too much or too little? The debate about the human condition has often been framed this way in both theological and psychological circles. Convictions about preaching, teaching, marriage and child rearing, as well as politics, social welfare, business management and the helping professions, more often than not, fall on one side or the other of this divide. With theological and psychological insight Terry D. Cooper provides trenchant analysis of this centuries-long debate and leads us beyond the usual impasse. Humanistic psychology has often regarded traditional Christianity as its archrival in assessing the human condition. Cooper demonstrates how the Christian doctrine of a sinful and fallen humanity sheds light on the human condition which exhibits both pride and self-denigration. Bringing theological insights ranging from Augustine and John Calvin to Reinhold Niebuhr together with the psychological theories of Freud, Jung, Carl Rogers, Gerald May and Karen Horney, Cooper guides readers through the maze of competing claims to a resolution which affirms Christian conviction while critically engaging modern psychological theory. A model of the proper integration of Christian theology and the discipline of psychology, Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance will be of special help to students and practitioners of psychology, pastoral counseling and clinical psychology.