Culbertson, Philip Leroy 1944-
CULBERTSON, Philip Leroy 1944-
PERSONAL: Born October 10, 1944, in Bartlesville, OK; son of Walter Leroy and Wanda Miriam (Atkins) Culbertson. Education: Washington University (St. Louis, MO), Mus.B., 1966; General Theological Seminary (New York, NY), M.Div., 1970; doctoral research at Hebrew University, 1974-76; New York University, Ph.D., 1977. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Episcopalian.
ADDRESSES: Office—University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
CAREER: Associate rector, Church of the Holy Trinity, New York, NY, 1970-74; rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Oberlin, OH, 1976-85; Episcopal Bishop's advisory commission on Christian-Jewish relations, member, 1986; Christ Episcopal Church, Tracy City, TN, interim rector, 1986-87; University of the South, Sewanee, TN, professor of pastoral theology, 1985—; Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand, lecturer.
MEMBER: Congress of Anglican Theologians, Guild of Clergy Counselors, Christian Study Group on Judaism and the Jewish People.
(Editor, with Arthur Shippee) The Pastor: Readings from the Patristic Period, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1990.
New Adam: The Future of Male Spirituality, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.
Counseling Men, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.
A Word Fitly Spoken: Context, Transmission, andAdoption of the Parables of Jesus, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1995.
Counselling Issues & South Pacific Communities, Accent Publications (Auckland, New Zealand), 1997.
Caring for God's People, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.
(Editor) The Spirituality of Men: Sixteen ChristiansWrite about Their Faith, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: In addition to a thirty-year career as an Episcopal priest, Philip Leroy Culbertson has been an integral part of a liberalization of pastoral counseling as well as a leader in important theological discussions in Christian-Jewish relations.
In The Pastor: Readings from the Patristic Period, Culbertson and co-editor Arthur Shippee present a collection of essays arguing that modern pastoral theology is a combination of psychology and counseling that often ignores the more traditional church experiences. Culbertson proposes, however, that contemporary Christians can benefit from selected reading of the Church fathers that supports the modern views of pastoral counseling, beginning with the Apostolitic Fathers and finishing with Gregory the Great. In a review of The Pastor for Church History, Joseph F. Kelly wrote, "The selections from Verba Seniorium include sayings of Syncletice, who, the editors explain, is 'unfortunately this book's only female author' . . . they deserve credit for attempting to broaden the all-male scope of the book. I would personally be surprised if many 'modern' seminary instructors took this book seriously in training their charges, but church historians will be grateful for this handy compendium of patristic readings on the notion and practice of pastoral work."
In New Adam: The Future of Male Spirituality and Counseling Men, Culbertson continues to explore the ways in which men can benefit from pastoral counseling. Howard Stone wrote in his foreword, "Counseling Men aims to help concerned men achieve a clearer identity in the whirlwind of change that is occurring in family and relationship structures. Philip Culbertson addresses the radical disparity between the stereotypes of how men are portrayed in our society and how they actually live their lives, between the media's macho, superhero, all-controlling, fantastic lovers and the fearful cogs in the wheel of today's impersonal business world, mortgaged to the hilt and worried about career and the responsibilities of providing for his family."
Caring for God's People continues to expand the ideal of Christian wholeness and maturity, e.g., a healthy interconnectedness of self-within-community. The heart of the book lies in its presentation of the three schools of counseling theory that Culbertson finds most helpful: family systems theory, narrative counseling theory, and object relations theory. Each of these is explained in detail, and then applied to such counseling situations as pre-marital counseling, marriage counseling, divorce counseling, counseling gay men and women, and grief counseling.
The Spirituality of Men: Sixteen Christians Write about Their Faith, which Culbertson both edited and contributed to, is a collection of writings that attempts to lay out what it means to be an adult male Christian. The essayists, who include men both deeply and scarcely religious, straight and gay, white and African American, Protestant and Catholic, and of various ages, move beyond old stereotypes of manliness and Christian identity to chart new identities, roles, and attitudes. As Culbertson notes of the book's contributors, "As pastoral theologians they are keen observers of and prophetic witnesses to the core issues, deepest wounds, and greatest potential for men—involving spirituality, relationships, sexuality, health and healing, violence and abuse, aging, and religious community. Together their reflections are a valuable next step for men in the church and offer promising glimpses of new, healthy, life-enhancing ways of being men of faith."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, September, 1995, C.C. Newman, review of AWord Fitly Spoken: Context, Transmission, and Adoption of the Parables of Jesus, p. 144.
Church History, December, 1993, Joseph F. Kelly, review of The Pastor: Readings from the Patristic Period, p. 588.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, summer, 1996, Zev Garber, review of A Word Fitly Spoken, p. 402.
National Catholic Reporter, November 9, 1990, William C. Graham, review of The Pastor, p. 32.*