Religion: Learning from Psychiatry

The woman had attempted suicide—traditionally considered by Christianity to be one of the most serious sins. But when she consulted Dr. Edward Stein, a professor of pastoral counseling at San Francisco Theological Seminary, he gave her no lecture on God's grace. Instead, in the course of a sympathetic conversation, he discovered that as a child the woman had never been allowed to express anger. Concluding that her attempt at self-murder was basically an expression of long-repressed rage, Stein tried to show her the underlying reasons behind her suicidal urges, and encouraged her to...

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