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06.11.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 2/2018

Journal of Religion and Health 2/2018

Psychobiography and the Psychology of Religion: A Tribute to the Work of Donald Capps

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 2/2018
Autor:
Janet Jacobs

Abstract

This article examines Donald Capps’s work on the psychology of major religious figures and the social forces that informed their psychic lives, spiritual worldviews, and teachings. Drawing on four texts that were published between 2000 and 2014, the essay explores Capps’s views on the importance of psychobiography to the study of religion and the specific contributions his thinking has made to a greater understanding of the historical Jesus. The article considers Capps’s analysis of Jesus’s illegitimacy and his role as healer within the society in which he lived and preached. Building on Capps’s work, the article also expands on feminist and postcolonial theories that offer insight into the psychosocial development of religious figures whose teachings and beliefs emerged out of their individual life circumstances and the larger socio-political culture in which they lived.

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