Strata of Christian Belief - Strata 2 - Assumptions about the human psyche /soul / spirit and its nature and function tying in both philosophy and psychology.
The interaction of mind and body is a huge problem in fields such as philosophy, pyschology and neuro-science. Basically it is stated as "What is the basic relationship between the mental and the physical?" The many varied (and sometimes contradictory) answers are too many to list here. I am concentrating only on the Christian views.
Christianity takes a dualist approach. Body is the physical attributes that can be seen and includes brain. The unseen attributes are the mind. In philosophy and many religions including sections of Christianity mind = psyche = spirit = soul. However, many Christians have a "tripartite man" model made popular by Watchman Nee in his "The Spiritual Man". Justification for a tripartite being comes from the notion that God is a tripartite unity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) and humans are made in God's image therefore humans must also have a tripartite being. It is backed up, as usual by bible vereses such as 1 Thessalonians 5:23 "may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." & Hebrews 4:12 " the word of God ... penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit."
The unseen elements of humans in the tripartite view are therefore broken up into:
SOUL: conscious and subconscious minds, intellect, reason, emotion, will; extinguished at death.
SPIRIT: "God's Worship and Contact Centre", waffly goo feelings about God, intuitions about God; eternal part of the person.
It thus views spirit as pure and untainted once one is "born again" but the soul as instrinsically evil, corrupt and suspect and not to be used for investigating the things of God. The outcome is a profound anti-intellectualism evident in many strands of Christianity today. This anti-intellectualism is reliant upon bible verses subjectively interpreted by "God's Worship and Contact Centre", the spirit. Bible verses and prayer are the food of the spirit and how problems affecting people's minds are "healed'. Psychology is suspect as it only helps the soul and the soul is unimportant. Only the spirit matters.
One's view of the mind affects notions about death, emotions, perception, memory, personal identity and freewill. Thus psycholgy, psychiatry, medicine and neuro-science can help those with mental illness in ways that can be measured and are peer-reviewed. They are also falsifiable. However, the efficacy of Christian methods which exclude psycholgy, psychiatry, medicine and neuro-science is completely unproven. In one study those prayed for healing faired worse than those who had no prayer at all. There is also no empirical evidence for a "tripartite man" or the definition of spirit in a "tripartite man' other than subjectively interpreted bible verses.