Christianity & Psychoanalysis: A New Conversation, Edited by Earl D. Bland and Brad D. Strawn
Christianity & Psychoanalysis
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: March 11, 2014
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2856
  • ISBN: 9780830828562

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Unsurprisingly, given Sigmund Freud's understanding of religion, the conversation between Christianity and psychoanalysis has long been marked by mutual suspicion. Psychoanalysis originated within a naturalist, post-Enlightenment context and sought to understand human functioning and pathology--focusing on phenomena such as the unconscious and object representation--on a strictly empirical basis. Given certain accounts of divine agency and human uniqueness, psychoanalytic work was often seen as competitive with a Christian understanding of the human person.

The contributors to Christianity and Psychoanalysis seek to start a new conversation. Aided by the turn to relationality in theology, as well as by a noncompetitive conception of God?s transcendence and agency, this book presents a fresh integration of Christian thought and psychoanalytic theory. The immanent processes identified by psychoanalysis need not compete with Christian theology but can instead be the very means by which God is involved in human existence. The Christian study of psychoanalysis can thus serve the flourishing of God?s kingdom.

Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) Books explore how Christianity relates to mental health and behavioral sciences including psychology, counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy in order to equip Christian clinicians to support the well-being of their clients.

"In Christianity and Psychoanalysis, Strawn and Bland provide us with fresh horizons for integrating psychology and theology while also reinvigorating ancient questions about healing and spiritual maturity. This book brings together many of the most seasoned and thoughtful integrators of psychoanalytic clinical practice and Christian theology. It is rare to find resources such as this, which are theoretically sophisticated, theologically nuanced and therapeutically relevant. The rich motif of 'Christian traditioning' represents an important contribution to relational approaches to integration, which moves us beyond the safe shores of general ideas and invites us to own our particular and formative commitments."

Steven J. Sandage, Boston University


1 A New Conversation
Earl D. Bland and Brad D. Strawn

2 Tradition-Based Integration
Ron Wright, Paul Jones and Brad D. Strawn

3 Contemporary Freudian Psychoanalysis
Brad D. Strawn

4 Ecumenical Spirituality, Catholic Theology and Object Relations Theory: A Threefold Cord Holding Sacred Space
Theresa Tisdale

5 Self Psychology and Christian Experience
Earl D. Bland

6 Intersubjective Systems Theory
Mitchell W. Hicks

7 Relational Psychoanalysis
Lowell W. Hoffman

8 Attachment-Based Psychoanalytic Therapy and Christianity: Being-in-Relation
Todd W. Hall and Lauren E. Maltby

9 Psychoanalytic Couples Therapy: An Introduction and Integration
Earl D. Bland

10 Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy
Michael W. Mangis

11 Christianity and Psychoanalysis: Final Thoughts
Brad D. Strawn and Earl D. Bland

List of Contributors


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Earl D. Bland

Earl D. Bland (Psy.D., Illinois School of Professional Psychology) is professor of psychology and chair of the department of behavioral sciences at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. He is a practicing psychologist with certificates in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the Greater Kansas City/Topeka Psychoanalytic Institute and from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He is also a member of the American Psychological Association and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. For the Journal of Psychology and Christianity and the Journal of Religion and Health, Bland has published on topics such as narcissism in marriage, accounts of rape in the Bible and the possibility of collaboration between the church and the psychological establishment.

Brad D. Strawn (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the Evelyn and Frank Freed Professor of the Integration of Psychology and Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has post-doctoral training in psychoanalysis and is a licensed psychologist. He is coauthor (with Warren S. Brown) of The Physical Nature of Christian Life: Neuroscience, Psychology and the Church and coeditor of Christianity and Psychoanalysis: A New Conversation.