"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 16, 2017

Exploring the Life of the Soul

I noted in July a recent book by Peter Tyler that attempts to link patristic spiritual theology with modern psychoanalytic thought around questions of the "soul." Now we have another, similar book just published: John Hanwell Riker, Exploring the Life of the Soul: Philosophical Reflections on Psychoanalysis and Self Psychology (Lexington, 2017),194pp.

Charles Strozier, a highly respected historian and psychoanalyst, has written appreciatively of Riker's new book. Strozier is the author not just of historical works about Abraham Lincoln but other books, including a fascinating biography I recently finished of Heinz Kohut, who was such a significant figure in Chicago psychoanalytic circles in the latter decades of the 20th century.

About Riker's book the publisher tells us:
In this book, John Hanwell Riker develops and expands the conceptual framework of self psychology in order to offer contemporary readers a naturalistic ground for adopting an ethical way of being in the world. Riker stresses the need to find a balance between mature narcissism and ethics, to address and understand differences among people, and to reconceive social justice as based on the development of individual self. This book is recommend for readers interested in psychology and philosophy, and for those who wonder what it means to be human in the modern age.

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