Do unconscious drives negate free will?
The best known aspects of this interdisciplinary encounter are the psychology of religion and pastoral psychology. But there is another relevant research area, namely the relation between psychology of personality and systematic theology. On the one hand, after nearly two thousand years of Christian culture in Europe we may state that Christianity determines the thinking and psychological habitude of European people.
On the other hand, it becomes obvious that beside religious and socio-cultural factors the personality type and temperament influences the theological decisions.
In order to demonstrate our statement we shall take a few examples from the history of theology the most evident ones being those of Calvin and Lutherpointing out the differences between their theological systems, most of which are explainable by psychological mechanisms.
Introduction Between Theology and Psychology there is a manifold and uneasy relationship. Psychology of religion attempts to accurately describe the details, origins, and uses of religious beliefs and behaviours.
Its basic question sounds: Thus, for every main topic in general psychology, there is a parallel line of research in the field of psychology of religion Paloutzian, Now we shall turn towards another relevant research area describing the relationship between theology and psychology, concerning which I found no comprehensive literature.
This area appears to be neglected within the Hungarian Reformed Church. It concerns the relation between psychology of personality and systematic theology, which can be understood as a special field of psychology of religion.
Christian anthropology, Christian worldview, Christian way of thinking about interpersonal relationship, sexuality, and other important topics left an indelible mark on European culture and the general attitude of the people living in those territories where Christianity has extended. This can be seen when the most important theologians chose different approaches concerning various theological and existential questions.
Through this example we shall illustrate how psychological habitude influences the formation of a theological system. But in spite of these elementary differences we could see some likeness in their manifestation, which could be ascribed not only to the eventual kinship of some aspects of the psychological habitude, but rather to the likeness of historical, sociological and educational circumstances.
Now let us see a few examples from their own writings: Luther4 Calvin5 My parents have educated me with an excessive Being of a disposition somewhat unpolished severity sternnessand so they have made me and bashful, which led me always to love the very timid.
Once on account of one stolen nut shade and retirement, I then began to seek my mother beat me bloody. With this merciless some secluded corner where I might be disciplining they have chased me in the withdrawn from the public view; but so far monastery.
Though they have made this with from being able to accomplish the object of my real good intention, I became extremely timid.
Both Calvin and Luther have characterised themselves being bashful or timid, but there is an essential difference how they acquired these features: Martin Luther about Himself], 3rd edition, The original Latin text is to be found in Corpus Reformatorum Vol.
But Calvin — according to his confessions — could achieve this only with a significant internal struggle. Furthermore, there is a significant difference between Luther and Calvin concerning their approach to the Bible. Nonetheless, by setting his feelings aside, he tries to show how even in such conditions the world could really become theatrum gloriae Dei.
Calvin is more logical and prefers to use his legal expertise, while Luther exploits more examples from everyday life, bringing his argument closer to the reader. Other examples where the psychological habitude influences theological decisions: In a place he presents a quotation as coming from Chrysostom in a clearly positive context, that the man is not only naturally sinner, but he himself is sin.
The relevant scholarship affirms univocally that Calvin could not have known that the quotation was not from Chrysostom, but from the Opus imperfectum in Matthaeum attributed to Annian of Celeda.
To my surprise, in the introduction Erasmus demonstrates based on reliable evidence that the author of these sermons could not be Chrysostom, but rather an unknown Arian clerical.
The obvious question follows: We have said that his temperament was predominantly melancholic. According to psychologists, melancholic people have a disposition or inclination towards some pride or prejudice, which in this case may have come forth in the following manner of internal rationale: I like what I have read in this passage, similar to many other quotations of Chrysostom; Erasmus, however, says that the author of this quotation was not the patriarch of Constantinople, but an Arian heretic; nonetheless, it is true that the best theologians can also make mistakes, and in those cases we could not accept their teaching… But truth coming from the mouth of an Arian?
Further — to take a more recent example — the theological debate between Barth and Brunner can largely be explained with the differences between their personalities. Or — and these are example from the Early Church — the debate between Peter and Paul in Antioch described in Galatians 2,11— 14, and the debate between Augustine and Pelagius, or the theological enmity between the patriarchs of Alexandria and some patriarchs of Constantinople beside the political interests can be interpreted from psychological perspectives as well.
Or, where the extraverted Pelagius sees a possibility for man to have a pious life, the introverted Augustine discovers a dangerous heresy.
This continued to happen not only in the past Early Church, Reformation, age of Barth but continues to happen so in our days as well. We have seen that bad theological decisions may often be influenced by many forms of dissolution of psychological balance.
If we could become able to handle these psychological mechanisms in an adequate manner, I am convinced that we could avoid many incorrect decisions within the church. In order to reach this goal I think it is necessary to strengthen the collaboration between psychology and theology, and on the one hand ministers need a serious psychological training as well not only one semester in the frames of Poimenics ,9 and on the other hand the Church needs qualified psychologists and psychotherapists to assist both the work of ministers as well as to contribute towards their mental welfare.
Second Helvetic Confession XI, 3:Physiological Psychology (3 credits) This course has two principal objectives: (a) to present the major research methods and findings in the neural sciences as they pertain to relationships between neural and psychological processes and (b) to discuss critically the validity of physiological explanations of psychological events.
Fideisms Judaism is the Semitic monotheistic fideist religion based on the Old Testament's ( BCE) rules for the worship of Yahweh by his chosen people, the children of Abraham's son Isaac (c BCE)..
Zoroastrianism is the Persian monotheistic fideist religion founded by Zarathustra (cc BCE) and which teaches that good must be chosen over evil in order to achieve salvation.
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