446 Book Reviews / Pneuma 32 (2010) 431-473 Donald Capps, Jesus the Village Psychiatrist (Louisville and London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008). 145 pp., $19.95 paper. This book is about the way Jesus healed people. Donald Capps, William Harte Felmeth Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, argues that the sick people described in the Gospels were suffering from mental or emotional disorders and that Jesus healed them by methods which came to be more fully understood by twentieth century psychiatry. In order to establish his claims Capps begins by focusing upon psycho- somatic disorders, the diagnostic criteria needed to assess whether a disorder might be remitted, and the relevant cultural and gender factors that bring a disorder into being. The second and third chapters provide a succinct history of hysteria beginning from the very earliest medical descriptions but giving most attention to the work of Sigmund Freud in relation to ‘conversion’ disorders. Such disorders are nothing to do with religious conver- sion but rather refer to the way unconscious mental trauma might be converted into phys- ical impairment. Chapters 4-7 consider selected healing stories in the Gospels, giving particular attention to the conclusions of John P
Pneuma – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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