Hearing Visions and Seeing Voices

Psychological Aspects of Biblical Concepts and Personalities

  • Gerrit Glas
  • Moshe Halevi Spero
  • Peter J. Verhagen
  • Herman M. van Praag

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVII
  2. Historical and Conceptual Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Herman M. Van Praag
      Pages 9-19
    3. C. Stephen Evans
      Pages 21-34
  3. Prophecy: Theological and Psychological Aspects

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 35-35
    2. Gerrit Glas
      Pages 37-40
    3. Bob Becking
      Pages 53-63
    4. Bryna Jocheved Levy
      Pages 65-85
  4. Martyrdom: Theological and Psychological Aspects

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 87-87
    2. Gerrit Glas
      Pages 89-92
    3. Hyam Z.L. Maccoby
      Pages 93-104
    4. Jakob Van Bruggen
      Pages 105-113
  5. Messianism: Theological and Psychological Aspects

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Gerrit Glas
      Pages 127-131
    3. Aviezer Ravitzky
      Pages 153-168
    4. Abraham Van De Beek
      Pages 169-181
    5. Peter J. Verhagen
      Pages 183-204
  6. Interdisciplinary Issues: Prospects for the Future

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
    2. Gerrit Glas
      Pages 207-212
    3. Moshe Halevi Spero
      Pages 213-266
    4. Samuel Pfeifer
      Pages 267-277
    5. Wayne G. Rollins
      Pages 279-293
    6. Gerrit Glas
      Pages 295-310
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 311-323

About this book


This book’s aim is to enrich and deepen our psychological understanding of biblical concepts and personalities. Such understanding is relevant for theology as well as for psychology and psychiatry. It may help theologians to contextualize their discipline by bringing it into contact with contemporary psychological and existential issues and tensions, both at an individual and a societal level. It also encourages psychologists and psychiatrists to develop and refine their vocabularies when they try to comprehend the existential meaning of what is transmitted to them by their clients.

The book highlights the concepts of prophecy, martyrdom, and messianism from Christian and Judaic perspectives. Each concept offers one biblical figure as representative: Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus, respectively. The sections on these three subjects and personalities are sandwiched between a section on historical and conceptual issues, and a section devoted to select interdisciplinary issues.

Biblical images of pain, anguish, suffering, hope, resentment, and awe are part of our cultural background and shape the way we understand our lives and sufferings. Biblical perspectives on human existence, on the other hand, differ in some important respects from modernist conceptions that prevail in psychotherapy and psychiatry. The book investigates the possibility of a theological criticism on common frameworks of psychological and psychiatric understanding of the inner world of the client. It also offers new ways to understand the ‘transformative’ power of religion.


Jesus Christus Religion bible martyrdom messianism prophecy psychiatry psychology theology

Editors and affiliations

  • Gerrit Glas
    • 1
  • Moshe Halevi Spero
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter J. Verhagen
    • 4
  • Herman M. van Praag
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.University of LeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of Social WorkBar-Ilan UniversityIsrael
  3. 3.Weinstock Oncology Day Hospital, Shaare Zedek Medical CenterIsrael
  4. 4.Meerkanten GGZ Flevo-VeluweErmeloThe Netherlands
  5. 5.University of MaastrichtThe Netherlands
  6. 6.The Albert Einstein College of MedicineU.S.A

Bibliographic information