Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Biblical Narratives Versus Greek Myths

  • Kalman J. KaplanEmail author
  • Matthew B. Schwartz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_73
Fifty years ago, Dr. Eric Wellisch, medical director of Grayford Child Guidance Clinic in England, called for a Biblical psychology, arguing that

The very word “psyche” is Greek. The central psychoanalytic concept of the formation of character and neurosis is shaped after the Greek Oedipus myth … . In ancient Greek philosophy, only a heroic fight for the solution but no real solution is possible. Ancient Greek philosophy has not the vision of salvation … There is need for a Biblical psychology (Wellisch 1954, p. 115).

Religious leaders in traditional societies often performed the function of applying the psychological wisdom implicit in the Biblical religious traditions to the particular life problems of members of their flock. Rabbis, priests, and pastors used Biblical wisdom to help people with concrete real-life problems. The contemporary situation is very different. The therapist is largely ignorant of if not antagonistic to religion, often in a manner incongruent with the...

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Dr. Kaplan is currently teaching an online course in a Biblical Approach to Mental Health, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation (see www.rsmh.org).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and Medical EducationUniversity of Illinois in ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of HistoryWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA