The Idea of a Christian Psychology

Volume 40
Spring 2012
The Idea of a Christian Psychology

In response to Paul Vitz’s evaluation of three divisions of psychology as: a) neuroscience and cognitive science; b) tests and measurements; c) psychotherapy and personality theory, I offer four reflections: First, neuroscience and cognitive science and the kind of activity that has gone into the production of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual are shot through with contestable assumptions of a generally philosophical kind, at least as neuroscience and tests and measurements are often practiced. Second, I contend that what Vitz calls psychology is more subject to scientific information and evaluation than he suggests in some parts of his article. Third, I argue that psychology is inherently more plural and contestable than is suggested by his rather blanket approval of the program of positive psychology. Finally, I suggest that Vitz exaggerates the difference between positive psychology and the negative psychology it is reacting against. The goal of this article is to illustrate and defend these claims, and to sketch what a Christian psychology is.

Dr. R.C. Roberts
37 - 40
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