Item description for The Logic of the Spirit: Human Development in Theological Perspective by James E. Loder...
Overview A leading authority on faith development explores the mysteries of existence, poignantly connecting the study of a lifetime to its place in the universe. Loder provides moving case studies and integrates the preeminent psychological models of human development with seminal Christian theological perspectives.
Publishers Description Those . . . prepared to grapple with science, social science, and Christian theology, will find this book] important, thought-provoking, and rewarding. ?Sharon Daloz Parks, Whidbey Institute In this deep and enlightening discussion, psychologist, and theologian James E. Loder demonstrates how a theological perspective enlarges our understanding of how humans grow and develop from birth through the life span. Loder examines the intimate relationship between human nature and the divine and provides moving case studies, bringing the work of psychologists Freud, Erikson, and Piaget to that of seminal Christian theologians Kierkegaard, Barth, Torrance, and Pannenberg. Loder acknowledges that psychological stage theories enable us to understand the logic of humans' evolving relationship with the world and with God. At the same time, he demonstrates that the divine spirit has a logic of its own, which is not bound by stages. Seminarians, theologians, ministers, and pastoral counselors will benefit from this rich, thought-provoking guide. James E. Loder is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of the Philosophy of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of The Transforming Moment and coauthor of The Knight's Move.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.08" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.92" Weight: 1.26 lbs.
Release Date Sep 25, 1998
ISBN 078790919X ISBN13 9780787909192
Availability 97 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 24, 2017 02:35.
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More About James E. Loder
JAMES E. LODER is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of the Philosophy of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of The Transforming Moment and coauthor of The Knight's Move.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Logic of the Spirit: Human Development in Theological Perspective?
Andrew Wilson Sep 2, 2007
My book arrived very quickly and in immaculate condition. I am very happy with the service provided.
Life Giving Jan 4, 2007
I took Dr. Loder's class on human development fifteen years ago and unfortunately understood little of it. He was certainly a brilliant man, but I didn't have the background to grasp his ideas then.
Reading the book now, without the distractions of other seminary classes, and frankly having lived longer, his ideas made far more sense to me. They were, indeed, life giving. Again and again I saw myself in his pages, or I saw these dynamics at work in others.
I would recommend this book highly, but with a caution. It's not an easy read, and some knowledge of theology and psychology would be a help.
Recapturing the spirit Jun 6, 2003
James Loder's book 'The Logic of the Spirit: Human Development in Theological Perspective' is a fascinating text, for it helps to re-integrate the idea of spiritual development (without becoming bogged down by denominationalist views on what that development should be) as an integral part of human psychological development. There has been the trend in the last century to separate out religious and spiritual matter from psychology--often for good cause. However, to negate the importance of this part of the human being when it is so clear throughout human history that it belongs as a centre-piece, has been a failure on the part of modern psychology, and that failure is beginning to be addressed by work such as Loder's.
'It should be recognised that the functionalist, structuralist, and empiricism toward which the human sciences are inclined keep them in a dualistic Newtonian world, where the person of the investigator is bracketed for the sake of objectifying the findings and meeting the canons of an empirical test. However, in contemporary physics, the hardest of sciences, it is recognised that the observer is an irreducible part of what must be accounted for in any scientific investigation. In Neils Bohr's understanding of subatomic phenomena and in Heisenberg's (a student of Bohr) uncertainty principle, to mention only two, it is evident that all observations at this level are observer conditioned.'
Much of the book follows the life cycle stages (a la Freud, Erikson, et alia) and examines underlying psychological theories (not dismissing any major school out of hand, but rather modifying and showing the differing implications each has for spiritual formation). Chapters on infant ego formation are coupled with the idea of infant's confrontation with nothingness as a spiritual challenge. While cognitively not capable of grasping the idea of nothingness (any more than they are capable of realising what an 'ego' is) they nonetheless begin sensing and making pre-linguistic determinations.
The toddler, oedipal and school-age stages likewise are explored from a psychological and spiritual standpoint. As a toddler transitions from 'parallel play' to interactive play, and begins to understand and use concepts and words such as 'I' and 'me', there begins to be a community sense developing, and a need for greater things, even beyond the parental influences, and for more comfortable things, beyond mother or transitional objects. With the oedipal child, Erikson gives as a core conflict in development initiative versus guilt -- and this is decidedly theological. Guilt and shame socially different, and perhaps the word guilt is too heavily loaded here.
'Shameless' is a term of opprobrium--you ought to have some shame; 'guiltless' is an honourific term implying innocence. Psychologically and developmentally, the deeper weakness or wound is shame, not guilt, though when we think theologically, we will see that guilt is still the deeper notion.
Further chapters explore spiritual development and psychological issues in adolescence, young adulthood, middle years, and older age (Loder has a beautiful chapter entitled 'Beyond 65: Dreaming Dreams and Talking with God'), which begins:
'In the book of the prophet Joel, the Lord said he would pour out his "spirit on all flesh". It was this prophecy that was fulfilled at Pentecost, and in Peter's sermon on that occasion "all flesh" meant not only the Jews but all nations (Acts 2:17). In almost the same breath, the prophecy discloses that by the Spirit, "old persons will dream dreams".'
That the old persons will dream dreams doesn't imply faulty thinking or a case of alzheimers or dementia. As people get older, they are getting closer to their own dream fulfillment in an ultimate sense, and this is a very positive affirmation from God.
Throughout this wonderful text, Loder uses personal examples from his case work and that of others in close practice with him, in which the spiritual dimensions of psychological work can be clearly seen and appreciated.
Difficult but beautiful Nov 21, 2001
James Loder was one of those people who obviously knew God. I was privileged to be in one of his last classes before his recent death, and it was obvious that this was one of the truly Godly men in this world. This text was the basis of his course on Faith and Human development, a study of the full picture of what it means to be and become human. He develops an understanding of human development from the perspective that the reality of God and his Spirit actually makes an impact in who we are as people. Rather than divorcing the religious from humanity, he develops a study which incorporates this essential aspect of who we are as full human beings. It is not an easy read, but is certainly an essential text for anyone seeking to understand how we become who we are. One of the more important books I've read so far in my seminary career.