Item description for Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology by Terry D. Cooper...
Overview What's the root problem of our human condition? Do we essentially suffer from pride or lack of self-esteem? Affirming Christian conviction while critically engaging modern psychological theory, Cooper offers insights ranging from Augustine to Freud to explore an issue that powerfully informs our preaching, teaching, marriage, parenting, politics, and more. 180 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.
Publishers Description 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.
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Terry D. Cooper (Ed.D., human development counseling, Vanderbilt University; Ph.D., theology and psychotherapy, St. Louis University) is professor of psychology at St. Louis Community College--Meramec and adjunct professor of religious studies at Webster University. He is the author of Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance.
Reviews - What do customers think about Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology?
Wonderful book! Nov 30, 2007
If you're interested in or concerned with the intersection of Christian theology and modern psychologies, this book is for you!
Focusing primarily on the Catholic- Augustinian theological tradition, as represented by Reinhold Niebuhr, and the humanist psychological school of thought, represented by Carl Rogers, Dr. Cooper raises the question of which of these seemingly disparate approaches better understands the problems of human nature and behavior. In the course of answering this basic question, he takes us on a stimulating tour of both approaches- highlighting their unique strengths and weaknesses in the process. He discusses at length the work of psychoanalysts Karen Horney and Rollo May, and then asks whether they might offer prospects for understanding and incorporating both Niebuhr and Rogers. Finally, Dr. Cooper offers his own synthesis and conclusion.
This is seriously one of the best books I've read on this topic- and I've read quite a few. Dr. Cooper is fair, balanced, and concise in his presentation of others' views and insights, and his analysis is thought- provoking. Having struggled with some of these insights myself over the years, I have found this book invaluable in articulating and helping to frame my experience. I really can't give a book higher praise than that- read it!
Very insightful May 9, 2007
I was very impressed with this book. This isn't a self-help book per se. Instead it is a good review of the history of thought on this subject by scholars (both of psychology and theology). It also presents very useful insights into how to think about human behavior as it relates to self-esteem, guilt, shame, and sin. It's not an easy read but it's worth the effort.
Great Insights May 7, 2007
I enjoyed this book, and it was very helpful to me as a student. I am currently studying for my Masters in Christian Counseling, and this book was used to help me in preparing a term paper on "Addressing Sin in the Counseling Environment."
Cooper does a great job of showing the differing views of the issues of sin, pride, etc.
Pride breads Contempt Apr 27, 2006
Some such as St. Augustine and Reinhold Niebuhr believe the fundamental problem with people is too much pride while others such as Carl Rodgers believe the maim problem is a lack of self-esteem. Terry Cooper does an excellent job of bringing these apparently mutually exclusively views together. He starts with Kierkegaard's anxiety which leads to pride and the substitution of ourselves or others for the center of our lives. This leads to an idealized-self. When we are are not able to live up to our idealized-self it produces self contempt. Terry shows that pride and self-contempt go together. There is always some self-contempt even in the most proud and there is always some pride even in the most self-loathing.
Pride and self-contempt...together? Aug 16, 2005
Cooper does an outstanding job of comparing Augustine/Niebuhr's view of pride as humanity's primary problem with Carl Rogers's stance on self-contempt as everyone's dilemma. The author deftly merges the two theories to make it something other than an either/or situation. A tension is easily recognized between theology and humanistic psychology, but Cooper with the help of writings from an early 20th C. psychologist, Karen Horney, show us that people with pride have a hidden self-hatred & people with low self-esteem have a hidden pride system. And he courageously tackles the feminists' rejection of pride, which they predominantly consider to be a male problem, regarding women's issues with surprising results - an anxious greed vs. greedy anxiety comparison. Cooper maintains that all anxiety stems from inner fears about how we relate to ourselves & not so much from external pressures. As a consequence, we expend too much time trying to nurse an idealized self rather than experiencing our genuine self, according to Cooper.
Read this book with a highlighter in one hand. You'll want to refer back to several statements eventually. In short, I felt pretty dang naked, but it was absolutely liberating. I think that both Christians and humanists will enjoy reading this one.