A Season with Donald Capps

This autumn I am wading into the intriguing work of the late Professor Donald Capps, starting with the following three works, reviews to follow in due course:

Pastoral Care and Hermeneutics
download (2)The basic idea of this book derives from Paul Ricoeur’s view that since texts and meaningful human actions are sufficiently similar, methods and theories developed for interpreting texts may also be used for interpreting human actions. Donald Capps applies this view to the broad range of pastoral actions and, in the process, formulates a unique and helpful hermeneutical model of pastoral care. Capps maintains that such a model can be extremely useful for understanding what a particular pastoral action means to those involved in it, and for evaluating its effects on these persons.

The Depleted Self, sin in a narcissistic age
download (3)Although narcissism may appear dormant in the 1990s, clinical research on narcissism shows that behind a grandiose, exhibitionistic side lies a shame-ridden half of self-loathing, unworthiness, and depression. Capps says that traditional theologies of guilt are unable to address those gripped by shame and makes a case for a different pastoral approach in counselling and ministry.
You’ve Got to be Kidding
downloadYou’ve Got to Be Kidding!: How Jokes Can Help You Think is a thoughtful and accessible analysis of the ways in which jokes illustrate how we think critically, and how the thinking process goes awry in everyday human situations

  • Uses jokes to illustrate the various mistakes or fallacies that are typically identified and discussed in courses on critical reasoning
  • Provides an effective way to learn critical thinking skills since jokes often describe real-life situations where it really matters whether a person thinks well or not
  • Demonstrates how philosophy is actually very practical and clearly related to real- life human experiences
  • Explains how developing good reasoning habits can make a real difference in all aspects of one’s life

 

Donald Capps (January 30, 1939 – August 26, 2015) was Professor of Pastoral Psychology Emeritus and Adjunct Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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