Priest Pays Bowen Forward

The Rev. Edward J. Henley has become a faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, based in the nation’s capital.

Henley began his study of Bowen family systems theory in 1987. He participated in the postgraduate program at the Bowen Center from 2014 to 2017 and has been a presenter at the center’s clergy day in 2016 and 2017.

The center was established by the late Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist who developed a new theory of human functioning that treated the family as an emotional unit. It has found many students among Episcopal priests and other clergy, often through the influence of the late Rabbi Edwin Friedman.

The Rev. William McD. Tully wrote in tribute to Friedman: “[A]fter one particularly spectacular clergy conference in the South, a grateful minister had had some bumper stickers made. A colleague of Ed’s nearly drove off the road when he spotted one. He called Ed, and I’ve never seen him more childishly delighted than when he told a few of us what it said: ‘Jesus saved my soul. Rabbi Friedman saved my ass.’”


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