«Der Weg heraus ist der Weg hindurch!»Pastoralpsychologische Perspektiven zu Glaube und Angst

Abstract

«The Way Out is the Way Through» – Pastoral-Psychological Perspectives on Faith, Fear and Anxiety. Pastoral psychology brings together foundational insights from both theology and psychology to help people live a salvific life. The present paper takes as its starting point the theological stance that not unbelief, but fear and anxiety, may be understood as the opposites of faith. Fear erodes faith. From this horizon, the complex interplay of anxiety and faith is described in both its productive and negative forms. Neuropsychological processes must be adequately considered. The central thesis is that the empirical relationship between fear and belief is multidimensional. Fundamentally, a significant positive correlation exists between religiosity and spirituality (lived «faith») on the one hand, and quality of life and well-being on the other. However, it is also the case that psychological dysfunction, negative images of God and poor religious education can layer faith with anxiety. Religion-specific anxiety inducing factors are described. The article argues for the biblical choice of a trust-filled faith and a life-enhancing spirituality.

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