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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pride and self-contempt...together?
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...
Published on August 15, 2005 by Dan A. Newberry

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How autonomous human attempts to live without faith leads to functional Idolatry
What a thrilling way to learn about the fundamental problem of being human in God's world from a wide variety of source material - from Orthodox and Neo-orthodox Christian theologians to psychologists and psychotherapists! Karen Horney's contribution to psychotherapy is identified as a significant thinker that allows Cooper to integrate the polarized proponents for pride...
Published 17 months ago by Robert D. Smart


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pride and self-contempt...together?, August 15, 2005
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Pride breads Contempt, April 26, 2006
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Wil Roese (Baltimore, MD) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!, November 30, 2007
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful, May 8, 2007
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it low self-esteem or pride?, December 26, 2010
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Insights, May 6, 2007
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, and it was very helpful to me as a student. I am currently studying for my Masters in Christian Counseling, and this book was used to help me in preparing a term paper on "Addressing Sin in the Counseling Environment."

Cooper does a great job of showing the differing views of the issues of sin, pride, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading - Basic for Spiritual Searching, May 6, 2013
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Paul Leddy (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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On a journey of self-discovery? Start here, then start your journey. After my first reading - I started over immediately, then read it again a third time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging and thoughtful read!, March 29, 2013
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
What is the most basic struggle in being human? Pride? Low Self-Esteem (insecurity)? Cooper ultimately argues that pride and insecurity are really two different sides of the same coin. This text is intended for pastoral counselors and pastors. Still, as it was recently quoted in a church sermon, I felt compelled to dive into more of what Cooper had to say. Well researched and detailed. A very academic text that causes the reader to really think about Who holds the key to the person we are intended to become. I am still digesting this text and have not yet reached its conclusion. It is a challenging read in the very best sense of the word!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How autonomous human attempts to live without faith leads to functional Idolatry, February 16, 2013
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This review is from: Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology (Paperback)
What a thrilling way to learn about the fundamental problem of being human in God's world from a wide variety of source material - from Orthodox and Neo-orthodox Christian theologians to psychologists and psychotherapists! Karen Horney's contribution to psychotherapy is identified as a significant thinker that allows Cooper to integrate the polarized proponents for pride and self-contempt as humanity's pathological problem.

This is an excellent read for Christian ministers to understand their own folly and those whom they seek to bring to acceptance; namely, justification by grace alone through faith in Christ.
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Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology & Psychology
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