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Record Type: Review   ID: 736

The Healing Spirit: Explorations in Religion and Psychotherapy

Fleischman, Paul R.

 The author, who is a clinical psychiatrist, says his aim "is to observe and understand how the threads of religious issues are woven into the fabrics of suffering, healing, and health, and not to explain away or reduce one aspect of life to another" (p. xii). He sees religion as that aspect of human personality that "seeks to discover meanings" (p. 1), to related the individual to the whole. He describes 10 areas of religious psychology that are both psychological and religious and form "the active, complex, compound of religion" (p. 3). Each issue is presented individually, yet represents a universal human quandary. He attempts to show, using fictionalized accounts drawn from outpatients’ histories, that "the way we meet our religious needs may facilitate, pervert, or actualize our lives" (p. 4). The 10 lay areas or needs are expressed in the titles of chapters 1-10: Witnessed significance, lawful order, affirming acceptance, calling, membership, release, worldview, human love, sacrifice, and meaningful death. At various points in the chapters, key experiences are of the exceptional type, as in voices, visions, and feelings of unity.
Publisher Information:New York: Paragon House, 1990. 288p. Bibl: 263-279; Index: 281-288. (Originally published in 1990 by Athena Books under the title The Healing Zone: Religious Issues in Psychotherapy)
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