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

Abstract

Extract



In many cultures and religions of the world the belief in transcendental realities, like God, the Devil and other benevolent and malevolent spirits are widespread. These realities are constructed in different ways, depending upon context. In light of the development Western industrial societies have undergone, it follows that the belief in transcendental realities may have given way to beliefs that are steeped more, in empiricism. However, understanding the belief in transcendental realities seems to be gaining renewed interest in various social science disciplines in light of the fact that claims of experiences of spirit possession are escalating. The implication this understanding has on the treatment a patient receives is likely to depend upon the training of the practitioner consulted. It follows that the experiences of patients who believe they are possessed by a spirit is as equally important to practitioners of psychology as it is to theologians. Psychologists would likely ascribe a spirit possession to a psychological experience; while theologians will attest to the presence of a spiritual illness. This project focused 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 which 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...

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.