Healing for Freedom
A Christian Perspective on Personhood and Psychotherapy
Benedict M. Ashley, OP
IPS Monograph Series, Vol. 4
In the midst of anti-religious sentiment, how are Christians to accept the type of freedom offered by modern psychology? Renowned theologian Benedict Ashley presents a Christian view of the human person's call to true freedom. Such liberty requires not only overcoming the typical struggles of personal development, but also attaining the healing that, for some, demands the ministrations of psychotherapy. While recognizing that the profound vocation of mankind requires spiritual and ethical integration, Ashley treats the major models of human personhood found in contemporary psychology. His mediating model of the human person sets a sound philosophical foundation that serves to integrate a Christian vision of the human person and the work of psychology.
The desire for ultimate flourishing serves as the guide for understanding the interrelationship between human embodiedness, rational thought, choice, and communal life. Human beings naturally long to know the ultimate origin and end of life and, by the gift of faith, respond to God's call to holiness and perfection. From this perspective, Ashley calls psychologists to be attentive to both the animal and the personal aspects of being human. In contrast to the claims of the new atheists, he argues that coherence is found not in opposing but rather in confirming the fittingness of human openness to transcendence.
Throughout the book, he demonstrates how psychotherapeutic models of healing can be rendered compatible with a Christian notion of knowledge, love, and action at embodied, personal, and interpersonal levels.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Benedict M. Ashley, OP, is emeritus professor of moral theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis. He has been involved in interdisciplinary dialogue between science and faith for half a century, including at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. Among his many publications are Health Care Ethics, Living the Truth in Love, The Way toward Wisdom, and How Science Enriches Theology.