By Colin Kirkwood (auth.), Colin Kirkwood (eds.)
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Extra info for The Persons in Relation Perspective: In Counselling, Psychotherapy and Community Adult Learning
This entails clarifying the distinctions and overlaps of meaning between the terms personal relations, object relations, and persons in relation. Briefly, personal relations is used to refer to the direct relationships between human beings, whether past or present, both descriptively (that is, whatever those relationships happen to be), and normatively (that is, when each person involved is genuinely trying to consider and treat the other as a person rather than as an object). The term object relations, which I dislike and use reluctantly, is nevertheless meaningful for accounts of the inner worlds of persons conceived in terms of their internalised images or representations of self and other, and the dynamic relationships between and among these self-other representations, when these are unconscious and/or have become to some degree dissociated, stuck or fixed.
Macmurray, 1995b, p. 65) THE GOOD OTHER Macmurrays mother was a powerful influence in his life, one to whom he remained deeply attached but from whose emotionally constricting and fundamentalist qualities he struggled to separate himself. It is my view, though Macmurray might not have agreed, that the idea of God as an objective existent has become superfluous in Macmurrays vision of religion. Yet in each of his books, he finds a place for God. Here is one example of this process as it occurs in Persons in Relation.
Traditionally, religions had achieved a resolution of this conflict based on the primacy of the community of believers gathered around their god, their doctrine and their practice of care which acknowledged the dimension of individual conscience through self-examination, prayer, confession, repentance, faith, and good works. In this sense, the personal has always been a recognisable dimension of religious practice. But this traditional solution is no longer available to postmodern man and woman, because of its perceived authoritarianism, its imposition of a set of revealed beliefs, values and practices for living.