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New book by Pamela Cooper-White explores multiplicity, God, and persons



Decatur, GA. Braided Selves: Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God, and Persons by Pamela Cooper-White, has been released by Cascade Books. Dr. Cooper-White is the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling at Columbia Theological Seminary and director of the Atlanta Theological Association’s Doctor of Theology program in pastoral counseling.

 In this volume, which includes ten years of essays, Dr. Cooper-White suggests that we are more multiple as persons than traditional psychology has taught us to believe, and that our multiplicity is part of how we are made in the image of a loving, relational, multiple God. She argues that modern, Western notions of Oneness may actually cause harm to both individuals and society, and that an appreciation of multiplicity can help liberate the voices of those who live at the margins, both of society and within our own complex selves. Braided Selves addresses these concerns from the perspectives of postmodern pastoral psychology and Trinitarian theology, with implications for the practice of spiritual care, counseling, and psychotherapy.  

“Braided Selves is what authentic theology could be in the twenty-first century: theoretically rich without fleeing into metaphysical and rhetorical abstractions; rooted in human experience without degenerating into sentimentality and cliché,” says James W. Jones, professor of psychology and religion at Rutgers University. “Anyone who cares about religious reflection in this troubled time should read this book. It will be a loss if Dr. Cooper-White’s text is restricted only to those who have ‘pastoral’ in their job description.” 

Dr. Cooper-White joined Columbia’s faculty in 2008. In 2005 she received the American Association of Pastoral Counselors’ national award for Distinguished Achievement in Research and Writing. Dr. Cooper-White holds PhDs from Harvard University and from the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago. She is the author of Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy and Theology in Relational Perspective (2007), Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling (2004), and The Cry of Tamar: Violence against Women and the Church’s Response (1995).

Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

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