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Zeitlyn, B.B. (1958). Religious Factors in Mental Health: By Wayne E. Oates. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1957. Pp. 239. 16s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:435.
   

(1958). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39:435

Religious Factors in Mental Health: By Wayne E. Oates. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1957. Pp. 239. 16s.)

Review by:
B. B. Zeitlyn

The aims of this book, written so persuasively by the Professor of Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Care at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, U.S.A., are (1) to interpret the religion of the mentally ill as nearly as possible from the patient's point of view, (2) to provide through such an interpretation another basis of communication between ministers, psychiatrists, and social workers in their work in understanding and ministering to the mentally ill, and (3) to contribute to the psychological understanding of religion itself. But particularly does it cater for the minister in his dealings with mental patients, and then especially as a member of the psychiatric team, with his own part to play, and need to understand the functions and language of his colleagues. An appendix of interest in this respect gives the syllabus for pastoral education as including for example 'a supervised practicum in interpersonal relations' and 'writing of clinical notes for consultation with the chaplain-supervisor'. The book's ready explanations so confidently forthcoming for all sorts of mental events must surely here be particularly appreciated.

But this is more than just a handbook or guide to psychiatry or psychiatrists, although this part is both tolerantly and shrewdly done. The pages, for example, on interpersonal relatedness, and the concept of the covenant of the religious community, provides a stimulating survey of these important social influences on the individual, which all who are concerned with group phenomena and social psychology generally can read to their advantage.

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