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Title: A Psychology of Hope: A Biblical Response to Tragedy and Suicide
Author: Kaplan, Kalman J Matthew B Schwartz
Publisher: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co; Publication Date: 2008
Paperback; ISBN: 9780802832719
Volumes: 1; Pages: 224
List Price in Paper: $22.00 Our price: $14.99
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There is a marked difference between the incidence of and attitude toward suicide in Ancient Greek culture and the biblical stories. Can examining the difference provide a biblical alternative to the rising suicidal element in modern Western culture? Kalman Kaplan and Matthew Schwartz develop such a biblical psychology here by combining the disciplines of history, psychology, and religion.Ancient Greek society shows an obsessive interest in suicide and death. Kaplan and Schwartz explore the psychodynamic roots of this problem, particularly the lack of a ruling benevolent deity in the Greek pantheon. They consider the Greeks' relentless need to impose meaning on meaningless life, and that society's desperate attempt to find freedom in an impersonal world governed by fate and necessity.The authors then contrast this with the biblical record in which suicide is little spoken of and reality and freedom are approached as extensions of God. Individual lives in this culture have inherent meaning and the individual is not forced to choose between impossible alternatives. It is here that Kaplan and Schwartz find a viable solution for the hopelessness so prevalent in Western culture today.