Theology and Winnicott's Object Relations Theory: A Conversation

Volume 27
Spring 1999
Theology and Winnicott's Object Relations Theory: A Conversation

Operating from Browning'€™s (1989) premise that all psychologies carry moral, ethical, even religious implications, this article develops a theologically-based typology for pastoral care. The religiously-oriented practitioner has been to some extent seduced by the lure of a "€œscience"€ versus "€œfaith"€ polarity, and perforce has tended uncritically to adopt psychological models of the human or to reject them altogether, for fear of conflict with religious beliefs. This study demonstrates that there are critical tools present within the Christian tradition that enable pastoral care providers to evaluate methods of counseling for moral agendas and theological implications. The Pelagian Controversy of 5th century Christianity provides material for demonstration that theology can find within itself practical methods for evaluation. The debates over freedom of the will provide a grid through which to uncover psychology'€™s implicitly theological anthropologies. The model'€™s usefulness is demonstrated by application to Winnicott'€™s Object Relations Theory.

C Burns-Smith
3 - 19
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