Volume 5   Number 1     Fall 2011

Story Formed Identity and Spirituality in Psychological and Theological Dialogue
Peter J. Jankowski
Bethel University (St. Paul, MN, USA)
pp. 43-69

ABSTRACT:  Story formed identity seems to be an increasingly prominent way for conceptualizing the self.  For the most part discussions about story formed identity appear to have existed as somewhat isolated voices within the respective disciplines of psychology and Christian theology.  This essay is a product of bringing the two voices explicitly into dialogue with each other.  The discussion in this paper is framed by an understanding of the dialogical self, and highlights the ways in which the conversation between disciplinary ideas is agreeable and where there is the potential for disagreement.  The potential for disagreement seems to center on the theological assumption that the transformative experience of God’s self-giving love may be a necessary condition for adaptive self-construction.  Ideas about story formed identity are used to elaborate on the experience of narrative incoherence, and provide ways to resolve the tension between voices at the individual-experiential levels of analysis.


  Key words: narrative identity, dialogical self, spirituality, theology