A Biblical Freud: Jewish views on psychology

In a new book, two brilliant clinical psychologists contrast the classical Greek view in psychology and psychiatry with the Judaic-Biblical approach.

May 16, 2019 19:02
A Biblical Freud: Jewish views on psychology

Biblical Psychotherapy: Reclaiming Scriptural Narratives for Positive Psychology and Suicide Prevention Kalman J. Kaplan and Paul Cantz Lexington Books 240 pages; $70. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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In the book, Biblical Psychotherapy: Reclaiming Scriptural Narratives for Positive Psychology and Suicide Prevention, psychologists Kalman J. Kaplan and Paul Cantz compare the classical Greek with the Jewish view of life, psychology, human beings, and medicine. In the Judaic conception doctors exists to take care people and their health. In the Judaic view, as expressed by Kaplan and Cantz, doctors and other health practitioners are God’s chosen guardians of their patients. This approach, the authors argue, unlike the Greek view of patient care, which sees the doctor fighting each disease separately. The Biblical approach to medicine, it is not a disease by disease battle. A Biblically based psychology has a similar view to the Biblical view of medicine. This has a very big impact on suicide prevention. Kaplan’s views are so Judaic that he especially quotes Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof, saying “LaChaim, LaChaim, to life.” This does not mean an abandonment of scientific objectivity. Both of the authors are brilliant scientists. To quote sociologist C. Wright Mills, “I have tried to be objective. I do not claim to be detached.”


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