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Horror and the Holy: Wisdom-Teachings of the Monster Tale Paperback – January 29, 1999

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Editorial Reviews


A brilliant phenomenological study of films and books...and points to a worldview that withstands the reality of evil. -- Maurice Friedman, Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy, San Diego State University

A fascinating discussion of the psychological nature of horror...Schneider's writing is concise...he makes his... points with crystal clarity. -- San Francisco Chronicle

Extremely compelling [and] cogently argued. I have no hesitation recommedning it to the casual horror fan and the serious researcher. -- Richard Manning, Writer-Producer, Star Trek: The Next Generation

In the tradition of Rollo May, Schneider turns to the arts....a very compelling way to reflect on 'horror's vision.' -- David Lukoff, Ph.D., President of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology

Spectacularly successful...a detailed and shrewdly probing analysis of eleven well-known horror stories. -- Contemporary Legend


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court (January 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081269225X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812692259
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,089,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

KIRK J. SCHNEIDER, Ph.D., is a leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is the recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), vice-president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), and adjunct faculty at Saybrook University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Schneider has published over 100 articles and chapters and has authored or edited nine books (seven either have been or soon will be translated into Chinese). These books include The Paradoxical Self, Horror and the Holy, The Psychology of Existence (with Rollo May), The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology (with James Bugental and Fraser Pierson--now being updated for a second edition), Rediscovery of Awe, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy, Existential-Humanistic Therapy (with Orah Krug--accompanying APA video also available), Humanity's Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience, and Psychotherapy (with Art Bohart, Barbara Held, and Ed Mendelowitz), and Awakening to Awe. A tenth book, The Polarized Mind, is now in process. Dr. Schneider is the recipient of the Rollo May Award from Division 32 of the APA for "Outstanding and independent pursuit of new frontiers in humanistic psychology," the "Cultural Innovator" award from the Living Institute, Toronto, Canada, a psychotherapy training center which bases its diploma on Dr. Schneider's Existential-Integrative model of therapy, and an Honorary Diploma from the East European Association of Existential Therapy. Dr. Schneider is also a founding member of the Existential-Humanistic Institute in San Francisco, which in August, 2012 launched one of the first certificate programs in the "foundations" of Existential-Humanistic practice ever to be offered in the U.S.A. In April, 2010, Dr. Schneider delivered the opening keynote address at the First International (East-West) Existential Psychology Conference in Nanjing, China, and has been repeatedly invited to speak at various similar venues in China--as well as Japan--over the last three years.

Also, Dr. Schneider lectures frequently throughout the world and has appeared on a variety of television and radio broadcasts. These include PBS TV's Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove, KQED's Forum radio program with Michael Krasne (see's Forum archive), New Dimensions Radio with Michael Toms, with Dr. David Van Nuys, and KPFA's Spirit in Action radio program with the Reverend Matthew Fox. His books have been favorably reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle, Common Boundary Magazine, Vogue, Tikkun Magazine, the San Francisco Jung Institute Journal, Psychotherapy, The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, and Contemporary Psychology.

More information about Dr. Schneider's work is available at his website,, as well, the Psychology Today website blog, and

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Omkar on January 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book to help explain my own fascination for horror flicks and to be honest, it didnt disappoint me entirely. The analysis of the top 10 horror flicks was splendidly explained. However, for the following two reasons, I found this book not entirely satisfactory:
(1) This book doesnt provide a holistic explanation for all types of horror films. Especially in modern times the genre has been split into an exotic variety of sub genres. I dont intend to label this book as antiquated, but it certainly loses its appeal once it doesnt delve into the fascinating world of postmodern horror. Also, doesnt discuss much about the reasons for human fascination with gore (movies like evil dead/tcm/cannibal holocaust)
(2) The explanation of horror through hyper constriction and hyper expansion doesnt seem to explain much about our other fears, like those of the unknown or in postmodern horror flicks, the mysterious fascination with the unexplicable. The book definitely doesnt address these crucial issues.
However, the book does serve as a prime to the early 20th century horror flicks and the analysis of Dracula, the birds and frankenstein is quite neatly done and succintly presented.
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