Winnicott and Religion

Winnicott and Religion

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This book explores how religion shaped and informed the life and work of D. W. Winnicott, the eminent British pediatrician and psychoanalyst. It highlights the influence of his Wesleyan Methodist upbringing upon his work as well as how his career in psychoanalysis changed his view of religion. It traces the nature of Winnicott's religious behavior and practice over his life and describes his contributions to the positive role of religion in life and culture.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765709066
  • 9780765709066
  • 2,358,409

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Religion in the Winnicott Household
3 Winnicott's Religious Development as an Adolescent
4 Winnicott's Religious Development as a Young Adult
5 Wesleyan Methodist Piety and the "Form" of Winnicott's Thought
6 Scriptural and Religious Allusions in Winnicott
7 Wesleyan Methodist Piety and the "Content" of Winnicott's Thought
8 Religion as Creative: Winnicott's Psychoanalytic Vision
9 Religious in His Own Way
10 Winnicott's God Images
11 Winnicott's Implicit Theology
12 Conclusion
Appendix A
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
About the Author
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Review quote

Dr. Parker's book is a truly 'playful' exploration of the impact of Winnicott's Wesleyan upbringing on both the form and content of his thought. Dr. Parker does an excellent job 'finding' and 'creating' the intersections between Wesleyan theology and Winnicott's theorizing while staying true to both. The book continues recent research detailing how theology has provided important underpinnings for psychoanalytic thought. Even though Winnicott may have 'grown up out of' religion, Parker demonstrates that psychoanalysis for Winnicott was not simply a secular version of religion, but that Winnicott did remain religious in his own way. This book will be of great interest to psychologists interested in the relationship between theology and psychoanalysis. -- Brad Strawn Ph.D, The Society for the Study of Psychology and Wesleyan Theology; Society for the Study of Psychoanalytic Therapies and Theology; Southern Nazarene University Stephen Parker's Winnicott and Religion is the most detailed account to date of the role of religion in Winnicott's life and work. Through a painstaking and comprehensive survey of Winnicott's evangelical upbringing in the Wesleyan Methodist tradition, Parker uncovers an "implicit theology" at the heart of Winnicott's clinical thinking. Elaborating on previous accounts of Winnicott's "lingering religiosity," Parker takes things further in delimiting what amounts to a "journey of the soul." The argument works free of Freud's view of the religious life through an integrated pattern of biography, exegesis, and critical evaluation that culminates at the intersection of Wesley's imago Dei and Winnicott's true self. An important revaluation of Winnicott from the standpoint of a Wesleyan Methodist piety, the book nonetheless reveals a familiar figure in English psychoanalysis committed to speaking out freely. -- Steven Groarke, British Psycho-Analytical Society; International Psychoanalytical Association; the Winnicott Trust Displaying an impressive familiarity with both primary and secondary sources, Stephen Parker offers a comprehensive assessment of the enduring impact of Winnicott's Wesleyan Methodist heritage on his life and work. This book is at once an important contribution to Winnicott scholarship and a thoughtful intervention in the ongoing debate over whether it is possible to reconcile psychoanalysis with any form of religious belief. -- Peter L. Rudnytsky, University of Florida
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About Stephen Parker

Stephen E. Parker (Ph.D. Theology and Personality Studies, Emory University) is professor in the School of Psychology and Counseling, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA. He teaches courses in counseling and personality theories and is a licensed professional counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has published several articles on the interface of personality theory and theology as well as on spiritual and religious development, including articles on the implications of Winnicott's developmental theory for these areas. He is the author of Led by the Spirit: Toward a Practical Theology of Pentecostal Discernment and Decision-making (Sheffield Academic Press, an Imprint of Continuum), a psychological and theological examination of people's claims to divine guidance.
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