Religion and the Human Sciences

An Approach via Spirituality

By Daniel A. Helminiak

Subjects: Psychology
Paperback : 9780791438060, 332 pages, April 1998
Hardcover : 9780791438053, 332 pages, April 1998

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Table of contents

List of Figures


1 Opening a Can of Worms

An Overview of the Alternative Approach

The "Integration" Project of Evangelical Christianity

The Nature of Religious Studies

Outline of the Book

2 Higher Viewpoints from Bernard Lonergan

The Definition of Science

A System of Higher Viewpoints

The Positivist Viewpoint

The Philosophic Viewpoint

The Theist Viewpoint

The Theotic Viewpoint

Further Clarifications

Summary on the Four Viewpoints

3 Revised Critical Correlation à la Don Browning

Browning's True Contribution

Interdisciplinary Method

Criticism of the Revised Critical Correlation

Religion and Science: Interpretation and Explanation

Two Further Issues

Conclusion Regarding Browning

4 The Perennial Philosophy of Ken Wilber

Common Concerns

The Core of Wilber's Position

The Three Eyes: Different Sciences, Data, and Knowing

A Theory of Knowledge

Paradox in Wilber's Position

About God and Consciousness

Mixing Religious Traditions

Conclusion Regarding Wilber





Proposes a new paradigm for interdisciplinary studies by applying the thought of Bernard Lonergan to define spirituality as the missing link between religion and theology.

Daniel A. Helminiak holds Ph. D.'s in both psychology and theology. He is Assistant Professor of Psychology at State University of West Georgia. His books include The Human Core of Spirituality: Mind as Psyche and Spirit, also published by SUNY Press; The Same Jesus: A Contemporary Christology; Spiritual Development: An Interdisciplinary Study; and What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality.


"This brilliant, scholarly, and breakthrough book is a tour de force in the solid establishment of a scientific spirituality. Helminiak's encompassing mind, using the complex constructs of Lonergan, frames a vision of a scientific revolution in spirituality and the human sciences. In this process, Helminiak is at his best in a thorough and well balanced critique of the Evangelical integration project of Crabb, the religio-ethical analyses of psychologies by Browning, and the transpersonal psychology of Wilber. " — Merle R. Jordan, Th. D., Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Psychology, Boston University School of Theology

"Helminiak is the West's answer to Ken Wilber—encyclopedic and incisive in his treatment of cutting edge spiritual/psychological trends, their insights and distortions. He offers to all the players, scientific and religious, Eastern and Western, his own profound and challenging synthesis. I am especially appreciative of his theoretical grounding of counseling and psychotherapy, in both their secular and religious expressions. " — Homer A. Bain, Ph. D., Director of Education, Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health, San Antonio, Texas

"At last someone has given us a framework for 'precisely and coherently interrelating religious concerns and the human sciences. ' Daniel Helminiak has done what Lonergan dreamed and challenged us to do: give flesh to general empirical method in interdisciplinary dialogue. Those working in the area of spirituality cannot afford to miss chapter two's 'theotic viewpoint. ' The text is clean, clear, and direct. It will afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted who have been seeking a way out of a maze of ambiguity. " — Carla Mae Streeter, O. P., Th. D., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality, Aquinas Institute of Theology

"By positing spirituality as the link between psychology and theology, Helminiak carries the effort at integration of religion and the human sciences beyond its current impasse. But the reader beware—Helminiak's provocative analysis will cause you to examine long-held and cherished beliefs. This book is a must for those who are unreservedly authentic in their commitment to the truth. Ironically, this book demands even greater notice by those who are less genuine in that commitment. " — Peter Hill, Ph. D., Editor, Journal of Psychology and Christianity

"A critical dialogue in transpersonal psychology seeks to delineate the relationship between religion, spirituality, and the human sciences. Building on the work of Bernard Lonergan, Dr. Helminiak gives that dialogue a powerful western philosophical perspective. The book contributes to foundational discussion by offering a new and stimulating analysis of Ken Wilber's thought. It adds a significant new voice to East-West discussions. It offers an effective model to situate within the human sciences the study of religion and spirituality. Thank you, Dr. Helminiak. This book, together with your other volumes, offers a valuable contribution to an extremely important topic. " — Bob Schmitt, Ph. D., Academic Dean, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology