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Don Browning and Psychology: Interpreting the Horizons of Our Lives

By author: Terry D. Cooper
Product Code: P433
ISBN: 9780881462548
Product Format: Paperback
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $30.00

Psychologist of religion, ethicist, theological psychologist, cultural critic, philosophical anthropologist, marriage and family expert, practical theologian, and religion and law scholar—these are some of the many labels one could use to describe the history of Don Browning’s work. Yet in spite of the multi-faceted nature of Browning’s work, abiding themes and central concerns consistently emerge. Perhaps the title which best describes Browning’s noteworthy contributions is that of “horizon analyst.” Browning is always at his best when helping us see the world of implicit assumptions and normative images that govern various perspectives. He has an eye for metaphors which, as his mentor Ricoeur famously said, give rise to thought. Perhaps Browning’s greatest academic asset has been his ability to explore the philosophical underpinnings of various psychological theories. This book focuses on Browning’s rich investigative journey into Freud’s dual instinct model, the relationship between human biology and culture, evolutionary psychology, William James’s instinctual pluralism, Erik Erikson’s notion of generativity, the ethical implications of self-actualization in the humanistic psychologies of Rogers and Maslow, evil and self-realization in Carl Jung, the place of self-injury in the thought of Heinz Kohut, as well as other issues. Beginning with a discussion of Browning’s critical hermeneutical approach, heavily influenced by Gadamer, Ricoeur, and David Tracy, this book systematically explores Browning’s critical assessments of the most significant contemporary psychological movements.
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Review by: Rodney Hunter, Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology, Candler School of Theology, Emory University - November 1, 2011
This book by Don Browning’s most faithful and authoritative interpreter is at once a lucid and insightful summary of Browning’s immense, distinctive, and enormously important scholarly work on religion and contemporary psychology, and a fascinating tour through many of the most compelling and contentious issues in the contemporary debates about the psychology of human nature understood from the perspectives of religion, theology, and ethics. Highly recommended on all counts.
Review by: Volney Gay, Professor of Psychiatry, Anthropology, and Religion; Vanderbilt University - November 1, 2011
Confronting the rise of psychology in American culture and its ambivalent relationship to religion, Don S. Browning, a pioneering theologian long affiliated with the University of Chicago, spent fifty years examining the promises and limitations of the psychological sciences. While a brilliant student of these sciences, Browning brought to them a foundational critique stemming from Christian theology. In this lucid study, Terry Cooper illuminates Browning’s critique and two essential questions: What is a human being? How does Christian revelation shape the ways we understand human destiny? How we answer these questions will shape the twenty-first century. Don Browning and Psychology: Interpreting the Horizons of Our Lives gives us a wonderful way to start the conversation.

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