#4559

brandeaton
Participant
@brandeaton

I am particularly encouraged by Dr. Oates’ statement that “an underlying hope of this writer is to arrive at a distinctly religious understanding of the problems of disturbed and unhappy people.  This is not to put the religious understanding over against the psychiatric interpretation of the ills of humankind.  Rather, I hope to develop a set of working hypotheses and concepts concerning human behavior in its direst distresses that will be readily understood and appropriated by any minister who has taken the Judeo-Christian interpretation of human life seriously.  I am encouraged because Dr. Oates strives to provide a clearer and firmer understanding of one’s own discipline as a religious interpreter of human concerns and distresses.  It is always a temptation to “borrow” understandings and interpretative frameworks from the psychological, social, and medical fields when working as a spiritual helper and caregiver in a multi-disciplinary setting.  Spiritual caregivers and counselors have a significant contribution to making in caring for people when we work from within our discipline and speak from within it.  When we veer “out of our lane,” we can surrender the opportunity to help.  We can neither exalt our interpretive contribution over others, nor abdicate our responsibility by believing that other disciplines are professionally superior to what we bring to the bedside.