Choice Essential Read Did God create man or did man create God? In this book, Dianna Kenny examines religious belief through a variety of perspectives – psychoanalytic, cognitive, neuropsychological, sociological, historical and psychiatric – to provide a coherent account of why people might believe in God. She argues that psychoanalytic theory provides a fertile and creative approach to the study of religion that attempts to integrate religious belief with our innate human nature and developmental histories that have unfolded in the context of our socialization and cultural experiences. Freud argued that religion is so compelling because it solves the problems of our existence. It explains the origin of the universe, offers solace and protection from evil, and provides a blueprint about how we should live our lives, with just rewards for the righteous and due punishments for sinners and transgressors. Science, on the other hand, offers no such explanations about the universe or the meaning of our lives and no comfort for the unanswered longings of the human race. Is religion a form of wish-fulfilment, a collective delusion to which we cling as we try to fathom our place and purpose in the drama of cosmology? Can there be morality without faith? Are science and religion radically incompatible? What are the roots of fundamentalism and terror theology? These are some of the questions addressed in God, Freud and Religion, a book that will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychologists and psychotherapists, students of psychology, psychoanalysis, philosophy and theology and all those with an interest in religion and human behaviour. Dianna Kenny is Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is the author of over 200 publications, including six books.
In this highly acclaimed book, one of the most prominent theologians in the world offers a theological and psychoanalytic assessment of Freud’s atheism and of its implications for current psychoanalytic practice. In the original section of the book, now entitled "God--An Infantile Illusion?,” Hans K�ng traces Freud’s views on religion and religious longing, compares Jung’s and Adler’s attitudes toward religion, shows that Freud’s arguments against the existence of God are theologically unsound, and concludes with a frank and provocative discussion of what psychoanalysis may be able to teach the Christian Church. In a new section, "Religion--The Final Taboo?,” K�ng points out that religions still plays a negligible role in the practice of psychoanalysis, despite its increasing importance in the lives of most people. Has religion replaced sex, K�ng asks, as an integral facet of human experience ignored or repressed by the very profession that seeks to enlighten? Reviews of the first edition: "This should stand as one of Dr. K�ng’s finest works.”--Edmund Fuller, Wall Street Journal "A balanced, thorough, and very readable discussion of Freud’s critique of religion... A model of the clarity, honesty, and fairness we can always expect to find in K�ng’s writings.” -John F. Haught, America "An honest, sympathetic pro-and-con assessment of specific elements of Freud’s critique by a well-known German Catholic theologian, easily accessible to the interested layperson and valuable for both theologians and psychologists.”--Library Journal "K�ng carefully, sympathetically investigates Freud’s interpretations of religion, both within his clinical theories and personal history.” -Lisa Mitchell, Los Angeles Times
Michael Palmer provides a detailed account of the theories of religion of both Freud and Jung and sets them side by side for the first time In the first section of the text Dr Palmer analyses Freud's claim that religion is an obsessional neurosis - a psychological illness fuelled by sexual repression. The second section considers Jung's rejection of Freud's theory and his own assertion that it is the absence of religion, not its presence, which leads to neurosis. Freud and Jung on Religion is suitable for general and specialist reader alike, as it assumes no prior knowledge of the theories of Freud or Jung and is an invaluable teaching text.
We live in an era that often described as 'therapeutic.' Our culture is suffused with unconscious fantasies and psychoanalytic ways of thinking about self, other, and society. Aspects of the Freudian cultural universe have also had an impact on how we think about religion. In this volume, William Parsons explores the relationship between religion and psychoanalysis through multiple, linked investigations. Why did Freud write about religion and what did he say? What were the multiple critiques levelled at his work? What were the post-Freudian psychoanalytic advances? How can we still apply psychoanalytic ideas going forward? In answering these and related questions, Parsons distinguishes between classic-reductive, adaptive, and transformational psychoanalytic models. He also argues that the psychoanalytic theory of religion needs to integrate reflexive, dialogical, and inclusive elements as part of its toolkit. Offering illustrations and applications of such revisions, Parsons creates new capacities for thinking psychologically and critically about religion.
In this study, the author reviews and reorganizes data about Freud's development and life circumstances to provide a psychodynamic interpretation of his rejection of God. She contends that Freud's early life made it impossible for him to believe in a provident and caring divine being.
This book presents selections from Freud's writings on religion and from the work of five more recent contributors to the psychoanalytic study of religion: David Bakan, Erik H. Erikson, Heinz Kohut, Julia Kristeva, and D.W. Winnicott. It is the first collection of texts in the psychology of religion that is oriented more toward religious studies than toward the study of psychology. In his introduction, Donald Capps points out that psychoanalysis resembles religions in the way in which its founding documents (Freud's own writings) have been closely read, have evoked interpretive battles, and have been reassessed and reapplied in response to changing social and cultural circumstances. He notes that just as Freud's writings on religion focus on the biblical text, the majority of the authors included here do likewise, showing how the Bible may be read psychoanalytically. Both Freud and his successors, says Capps, also reflect the high value that the Christian culture of the West has placed on painting and sculpture, revealing the importance of perception and imagination to the psychoanalytic study of religion. Capps highlights the ways in which all the Freudians work intertextually with Freud's writings, with the writings of other authors included in the book, and with other writings of their own.
Religious Faith through the Crucible of Psychoanalysis
Author: Carlos Domínguez-Morano
Belief after Freud confronts the psychoanalytic experience and the experience of faith. A purified vision of faith, so many times disfigured by infantile or neurotic dynamics, can emerge through the crucible of psychoanalysis. The work contributes to the dialogue between psychoanalysis and faith, based on the respective lived experiences, rather than from theoretical positions only. The book is divided into three parts: Part I centres on Freud’s position on religion. After an introductory chapter assessing Freud’s present validity, the following chapters critically examine Freud’s position and interpretation of religion. Part II examines how people of faith experience psychoanalysis, including the role played by unconscious feelings of guilt, and the ideas of sin and salvation. Part III explores ideas of sexuality, power, and obedience, including the unconscious and pathological roots of the relation with money, and the sense of evangelical poverty. Now in its fifth edition in Spain, Belief after Freud has also been published in Argentina and Brazil. Many readers say the book has opened a new form of belief for them. The book has also been of great interest to non-believing psychologists.
This volume presents not only principles that are understandable and enlightening but also psychological illustrations that offer a clear connection with religious experience. It serve's to be stimulating in one's reflection about the spiritual life: one's own and that of those persons who come to us for guidance.
How Psychiatry Lost Its Soul & Christianity Lost Its Mind
Author: Dan German Blazer
Publisher: Intervarsity Press
While psychiatry is not much interested in existential pain, and Christian theologians are not concerned with disorders of the brain, Dan Blazer thinks they should be. "Freud vs. God" aims to rekindle the debate between the soul and the mind, between Christianity and psychiatry. This important and provocative book is a "must" read for all psychiatrists, theologians, pastors, counselors, and interested laypersons.
"The Future of an Illusion" reveals Freud's reflections about religion as well as his hope that in the future science will go beyond religion, and reason will replace faith in God. The discussion with an imaginary critic revealed his internal debate, mirroring the debate about this subject in the outside world. However, it also enlightens his way of thinking: deconstructing and constructing at the same time. This volume considers Freudian ideas and their implications today, while focusing on the contradictions and gaps in Freud's proposals. The question of the coexistence between religion and psychoanalysis, as well as the place of ideals, belief, illusion, and imagination - and, no less important, the benevolent and destructive aspects of religion - also come into play.
Disciplining on Freud on Religion aims at evaluating the impact of Freud's understanding and interpretation of religion as it has impacted contemporary scholarship within several humanistic and social scientific disciplines, including religious studies, Jewish studies, philosophy, and the natural and social sciences. This edited collection should appeal to a wide range of scholars, for upper level undergraduate and graduate classes and those training in psychoanalysis.
A Psychoanalytic Theory of Secularization in Three Novelists : Anderson, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald
Author: Henry Idema
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
In this book, Henry Idema has developed a theory of religion and culture indebted to the psychological work of Sigmund Freud and the sociological work of Weinstein and Platt, and he has shown the validity of his theory through illustrations from the life and times and work of Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemingway, and F.Scott Fitzgerald. Idema brings a psychoanalytic perspective to his analysis of religion and culture. He starts out by developing a theory of religion focusing on early relationships with the mother and father, and then shows how social forces such as urbanization, industrialization etc. weakened religion in the institutional church, especially in its function of helping men and women to cope with anxiety.