Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science

December 1969 Editorial

[Zygon, vol. 4, no. 4 (June 1969).]
© 1969 by the Joint Publication Board of Zygon. ISSN: 0591-2385
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1969.tb00173.x

open PDF version

In our search for relation between religion and science, the psychological and psychotherapeutic disciplines appear to have a particularly close relevance for that function of religion called saving of souls, not only nominally but practically. During the past half-century there has grown a widespread incorporation of psychotherapeutic theory and clinical training in the education of the clergy, and it has had a considerable impact on pastoral care and counseling. In another practical operation, religious education, the technology of psychology has been applied in religious programs. Thus, at the practical level, there seems to be a good deal of integration between religion and psychology in mainstream religious ministry.

However, at the doctrinal or theoretical level, there has been very little incorporation of the psychological disciplines into mainstream religious belief and theology. In spite of the ties and cooperation on the practical side, at the level of doctrine or theory the relation between theology and psychology has been mostly a one-way street. While some clergy and theologians preach and write with enthusiasm about the soul-saving doctrines of an Erich Fromm or Carl Rogers, one seldom finds the papers of the psychiatrist or the behavioral psychologist in their professional journals that invoke contemporary theology.

Nevertheless, there are cases where psychologists have found positive significance and values in religious tradition and theology, such as the late analytical psychologist Carl G. Jung, the contemporary psychotherapist Erik Erikson, and the contemporary psychologist O. H. Mowrer. In this issue of Zygon we present four papers reflecting insights from the psychological disciplines that may be significant for our under. standing of the underlying validities of religious tradition and our capacity for translating religious functions and beliefs effectively into a modern form.

R. W. B.

Tables of Contents, Articles & Abstracts