Edwin Friedman (1932–1996) broke new ground in pastoral counseling by using Murray Bowen’s theory of intergenerational emotional family systems to explain complex interactions between religion, politics, and psychotherapy. Combining Bowen’s theory with his own rabbinical experience, Friedman developed a model of congregational analysis and leadership that was broadly embraced by American church leaders.
A native of New York City, Friedman earned a doctorate of divinity from Hebrew Union College where he was ordained as a rabbi in 1959. During his distinguished career, he acted as Community Relations Consultant for the White House on desegregation issues (1964–1966), founded the Bethesda (MD) Jewish Congregation where he served as Rabbi until 1979, established a postgraduate training center for clergy and mental health professionals (Center for Family Process), and maintained a practice as a marriage and family therapist. Dr. Friedman was well known for his workshops for clergy,...
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