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The Society for Christian Psychology

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Welcome to the website of the Society for Christian Psychology.  We began this website because we think that even a modest endeavor like this is better than none, and because we think the time may be ripe for some organized discussion regarding the project of a Christian psychology. 

We want to introduce the Society by pointing to one of the inspirations for this approach: Sören Kierkegaard (1813-1855).  He saw himself as doing Christian psychology; however, he does not fit current stereotypes of a psychologist, since he was neither an experimental psychologist nor a counselor, and his purposes were distinct from both vocations.  His daily life was spent largely in writing, and his writing was concerned with helping Christians to become more earnest and faithful.  He wrote to edify and awaken his readers to the ways in which they were less than fully Christian and also to point to a more radical kind of Christianity to which the Scriptures called them.  To accomplish these aims he wrote a few works that he considered were psychological in nature.  For Kierkegaard this meant they promoted a kind of “critical introspection” (Evans, 1990) that subjected the reader’s meanings and self-understanding to a thorough questioning.  To aid the reader in this agenda, Kierkegaard engaged in some rich theorizing regarding the structure, activity, and development of the human self, largely based on his own self-awareness and reflection on human nature.  What makes his work so important for the Christian community is its self-consciously Christian character.  He studied and wrote about human nature from the standpoint of a Christian belief-system and in the light of his own Christian understanding and experience.  For this reason, Kierkegaard could be called the father (or perhaps the grandfather) of Christian psychology.  In a number of ways, we hope that the Society may be successful in furthering his agenda in the 21st century, in the light of relevant developments since his death.

We hope this website will aid in the goal of the construction of a psychology (including counseling and psychotherapy) that is distinctively Christian.  We believe that Christian psychologists and counselors must read the best psychological work available, whatever the source, since the vast majority of good psychological research and theory-building has been done outside the Christian community.  However, we also believe that in some of the most important areas of psychology (motivation, personality, psychopathology, therapy, and social relations) a Christian world-view (and heart ) will lead to a significantly different way of interpreting human phenomena, so much so that a qualitatively different psychology (or set of psychologies) will result.

We invite you to join us in a communal dialogue as we seek the leading of the Spirit to guide us into all psychological truth.  Please e-mail us and tell us what you think of this website.  We also invite you to submit your name and address to receive a copy of our newsletter and then consider joining the Society for Christian Psychology (a form can be found on the last page of the newsletter), so that you can be a regular participant in this kind of dialogue. 

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