RELIGION AND HEALTH by Seward Hiltner
Kirkus Star

RELIGION AND HEALTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An excellent book for all those who would understand themselves and help others. While it is addressed particularly to the clergy, it is so specific in analyzing what mental hygiene is, and in examining the fears, anxieties and hostilities which all of us know in greater or lesser degree, that it is of enormous help to all individuals in the daily working out of their lives. It should be of particular help to parents who have to deal with excessive shyness, seclusiveness and day dreaming on the part of their children, and will cause them to examine their own attitudes toward their children. The author discusses the physiological, psychological and cultural causes of mental illness, and gives us a basis for examining to what extent any illness is physical and psychical. The author believes that mental hygiene has suggested new insights which may change some of the misrepresentations which have been made of Christianity, but that it has reinforced and given new weight to many of the basic Christian truths. He shows how Jesus had this insight and worked on the basis not merely of making a ""ours"" but of making a man ""whole."" The author sees that the church has an enormous f in working through knowledge of mental hygiene, especially in educational and preventive work. He is not afraid to criticize the church for some of its false conceptions to the past -- as, for instance, its lack of discrimination in judging parent-child relationships and in having given approval to the exploitative love of a parent for a child or in condemning anger rather than teaching more about the social and spiritual explanation and control of anger: or that this church has been too often ready to help a man who broke his leg but unable to help a man who broke his heart. He stresses the importance of self understanding in a clergyman, if he is counsel others properly, gives specific information in the principles of interview-counseling, and in enlisting the all of community resources whether they be individual physicians, psychologists, etc., or welfare agencies, hospitals and schools. This book is not not easy, but a straightforward, commonsense discussion of everyday problems which enable any reader to the problems of the moment by looking back for the trouble in some past experience or inhibited emotion. This book can be recommended to persons of any denomination, to pastors or any persons working with others, and to individuals who have personal or family problems.

Publisher: Macmillan