Show Less
Restricted access

Free Church Pastors in Germany – Perceptions of Spirit Possession and Mental Illness

Michael Grossklaus

This book focuses on Free Church pastors in Germany and their perceptions of spirit possession and mental illness. To explore Free Church pastors’ understanding of spirit possession and mental illness is critical in light of the overlap of symptoms. Misdiagnosis may result in a client receiving treatment that may not be appropriate. Interviews with Free Church pastors were conducted. The results were analysed and four themes were identified. Based on these interviews conclusions could be drawn which ultimately made it clear that the German free church pastors’ theological training needs to be supplemented in the area of psychology and that the pastors are unable to cope in the area of «spirit possession or mental illness».

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

7 Conclusion


← 130 | 131 →

7  Conclusion

This PhD thesis has the title: Free Church Pastors in Germany – Perceptions of Spirit Possession and Mental Illness. It has its origins in intensive personal experiences and research into this topic which ensued from these experiences. There is a great deal of tension between theology and psychology for free church pastors, particularly for pastors in Germany where psychology has effectively overtaken theology. Despite this however, there is a growing need to understand the interaction between psychology and theology especially in light of the experience of spirit possession which brings to call both disciplines.

This topic comprises two disciplines: psychology and theology. The first two chapters were therefore dedicated to both of these areas, namely with regard to how they relate to spirit possession. A first general overview was given here in order to establish the current state of research.

In chapters three and four, the respective psychological and theological theories were outlined. Their particular perspectives clearly show how differently phenomena are treated even when they appear exactly the same at first glance. Explanations and arguments were presented. Based on these results it becomes clear that spirit possession is a complex subject. An initial reason for this is the topic itself, for spirit possession is difficult to grasp and thus difficult to define and according to whether a psychological or theological view is taken, one can arrive at totally different conclusions and strategies (schizophrenia is treated completely differently than...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.