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Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (June 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830827285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830827282
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Sin, Pride and Self-Acceptance, Terry Cooper has managed to provide a lively and fully Christian view of human nature and its limitations that avoids sounding both overly simplistic as well as too academic. He intentionally tills the middle ground between self-love and self-hatred that has often typified theological discourse among evangelicals, and in doing so unearths a view of the self that resonates both with the biblical tradition and with modern psychology. Well researched and clearly written, this book will challenge readers to think deeply about their own self-understanding as part of the spiritual task of knowing and abiding in God." (Trey Buchanan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Wheaton College)

"Citing relevant theological and psychological literature Sin, Pride and Self-Acceptance,is an example of integration at its best and should prove to be useful reading in a variety of courses at the Christian college and seminary level. At the same time the book is very practical and offers insight to any Christian confused by the current simplistic and contradictory arguments for either pride or self-contempt as the underlying problem of modern persons. As an unexpected plus, the book adds to an understanding of male-female differences in regards to sin and spirituality." (Jack Balswick, Senior Professor of Sociology and Family Development, Fuller Theological Seminary)

"This is a book of uncommon depth. Terry Cooper demonstrates admirable insight into the human condition, drawing upon both theology and psychology in ways that can only enhance our understanding of pride and self-acceptance. Cooper reminds us that pride and low self-esteem can be two sides of the same coin, and in so doing, he offers us a theologically and psychologically informed account of some of the key facets of what it means to be human. " (Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Regent University)

"This book gives vital new life to the conversation between psychology and theology. It is a brilliant analysis of the relation of sin and pride, useful to the classroom but relevant as well to pastors and clinicians." (Don S. Browning, author of Religious Thought and the Modern Psychologies)

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Customer Reviews

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Well researched and detailed.
Math nut
It also presents very useful insights into how to think about human behavior as it relates to self-esteem, guilt, shame, and sin.
Heber Farnsworth
This is seriously one of the best books I've read on this topic- and I've read quite a few.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dan A. Newberry on August 15, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cooper does an outstanding job of comparing Augustine/Niebuhr's view of pride as humanity's primary problem with Carl Rogers's stance on self-contempt as everyone's dilemma. The author deftly merges the two theories to make it something other than an either/or situation. A tension is easily recognized between theology and humanistic psychology, but Cooper with the help of writings from an early 20th C. psychologist, Karen Horney, show us that people with pride have a hidden self-hatred & people with low self-esteem have a hidden pride system. And he courageously tackles the feminists' rejection of pride, which they predominantly consider to be a male problem, regarding women's issues with surprising results - an anxious greed vs. greedy anxiety comparison. Cooper maintains that all anxiety stems from inner fears about how we relate to ourselves & not so much from external pressures. As a consequence, we expend too much time trying to nurse an idealized self rather than experiencing our genuine self, according to Cooper.

Read this book with a highlighter in one hand. You'll want to refer back to several statements eventually. In short, I felt pretty dang naked, but it was absolutely liberating. I think that both Christians and humanists will enjoy reading this one.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Wil Roese on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some such as St. Augustine and Reinhold Niebuhr believe the fundamental problem with people is too much pride while others such as Carl Rodgers believe the maim problem is a lack of self-esteem. Terry Cooper does an excellent job of bringing these apparently mutually exclusively views together. He starts with Kierkegaard's anxiety which leads to pride and the substitution of ourselves or others for the center of our lives. This leads to an idealized-self. When we are are not able to live up to our idealized-self it produces self contempt. Terry shows that pride and self-contempt go together. There is always some self-contempt even in the most proud and there is always some pride even in the most self-loathing.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in or concerned with the intersection of Christian theology and modern psychologies, this book is for you!

Focusing primarily on the Catholic- Augustinian theological tradition, as represented by Reinhold Niebuhr, and the humanist psychological school of thought, represented by Carl Rogers, Dr. Cooper raises the question of which of these seemingly disparate approaches better understands the problems of human nature and behavior. In the course of answering this basic question, he takes us on a stimulating tour of both approaches- highlighting their unique strengths and weaknesses in the process. He discusses at length the work of psychoanalysts Karen Horney and Rollo May, and then asks whether they might offer prospects for understanding and incorporating both Niebuhr and Rogers. Finally, Dr. Cooper offers his own synthesis and conclusion.

This is seriously one of the best books I've read on this topic- and I've read quite a few. Dr. Cooper is fair, balanced, and concise in his presentation of others' views and insights, and his analysis is thought- provoking. Having struggled with some of these insights myself over the years, I have found this book invaluable in articulating and helping to frame my experience. I really can't give a book higher praise than that- read it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Heber Farnsworth on May 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was very impressed with this book. This isn't a self-help book per se. Instead it is a good review of the history of thought on this subject by scholars (both of psychology and theology). It also presents very useful insights into how to think about human behavior as it relates to self-esteem, guilt, shame, and sin. It's not an easy read but it's worth the effort.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah A. Reumann on December 26, 2010
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This book begins with a scenario that is right out of my life and I suspect the lives of many others where you find yourself arguing with someone about whether the unpleasant behavior of another friend is prompted by their low self-esteem/self hatred or by their pride/arrogance. This book resolves that argument.

As other reviewers have noted, the author addresses this issue in the most lucid manner by comparing and synthesizing the work of (primarily) theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, humanistic psychologists Carl Rogers and Rollo May, feminist theologians such as Judith Plaskow, and psychoanalyst Karen Horney. He makes it easy to see that, indeed, these are two sides of the same coin.

I think that many who are plagued by low self-esteem are - at least somewhat - aware of their grandiosity, but this book clarifies the process and describes the elements that create this neurotic state of being...this idealized self whose demands can never be satisfied...that falls into despair and depression when the mask slips off.

Finally, on a personal level, this book has assisted me on my own journey towards self-acceptance and given me both insight and encouragement.
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