ANGER, the Indian reprint of Chapman’s book, provides an interesting, Christian perspective on the origin and purpose of anger and the means of combating it to promote human good.
Anger is a universally experienced emotion, fed by “feelings of disappointment, hurt, rejection, and embarrassment.” It stimulates the adrenal glands, and results in unpleasant physiological changes and reactions. Chapman argues that anger is not bad, evil, or sinful. Because it reveals our concern for justice and fairness, it is “evidence that we are made in God’s image.” We should be thankful to God for experiencing it, for it eventually results in good.
Chapman states that when we are in a state of anger, we should acknowledge that we are angry, locate its focus, analyse options for overcoming it, and then take appropriate action. He makes a fine distinction between what he calls definitive anger—a result of wrongdoing—and distorted anger—a result of disappointment, unfulfilled desires or frustrated efforts—and the strategies to overcome them. In the first case, we should either confront the person who has been the cause of our anger or just overlook his or her action.
Though Anger discusses the various manifestations of anger in known social locations from an avowed Christian perspective, with plenty of examples and details from the Bible, it could be a useful book for people of other religions as well. It is highly informative and makes useful suggestions for turning anger into a source of positive gain.
(Jaico Publishing House, A-2, Jash Chambers, 7-A, Sir Phirozshah Mehta Road, Fort, Mumbai—400 001, [email protected], www.jaicobooks.com)