By David M. Black

What will be won from a discussion among psychoanalysis and religion?

Freud defined faith because the common obsessional neurosis, and uncompromisingly rejected it in favour of "science." Ever on the grounds that, there was the idea that psychoanalysts are adverse to faith. but, from the start, person analysts have wondered Freud's blanket rejection of religion.

In this booklet, David Black brings jointly individuals from a variety of colleges and routine to debate the problems. they create a clean standpoint to the topic of faith and psychoanalysis, answering very important questions such as:

  • How do spiritual tales hold (or distort) mental truth?
  • How do religions 'work', psychologically?
  • What is the character of non secular experience?
  • Are there parallels among psychoanalysis and specific non secular traditions?

Psychoanalysis and faith within the twenty first Century will be of significant curiosity to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic therapists, psychodynamic counsellors, and an individual attracted to the problems surrounding psychoanalysis, faith, theology and spirituality.

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Extra info for Psychoanalysis and Religion in the 21st Century: Competitors or Collaborators?

Sample text

There has been no consensus among Bion’s commentators on what to make of O. Neville Symington, who speaks of psychoanalysis as a ‘spiritual activity’, and Michael Eigen, who describes himself as a ‘psychoanalytic mystic’, have both based themselves in important ways on Bion’s ideas; James Grotstein (2000: 290) perhaps goes furthest, believing that when he wrote of O, ‘Bion was implying that the immanent “incarnate Godhead” is the thinker of “the (alleged) thoughts without a thinker”’ – it being part of Bion’s theory that thoughts can arise in our minds prior to the existence of an apparatus with which to think them.

Religion is regarded not as an expression of knowledge or truth pertaining to the nature of reality, the 23 Rachel B. Blass transcendent reality of God, but more as a kind of self- or relational experiencing within a realm of illusion. Conciliation thus becomes possible because, in this postmodern, non-realist sense of religion, there is no longer room for the concern (which troubled Freud) that religious belief is a distortion of reality. I think, however, that, in focusing on religion in this new and limited sense, differences and tensions between psychoanalysis and religion are concealed and the distinct nature of psychoanalysis as concerned with reality and a search for truth is blurred.

Abingdon: Fleetwood. M. (2004) Sympathy reconfigured: Some reflections on sympathy, empathy and the discovery of values. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 85(3): 579–595. Bleandonu, G. (1994) Wilfred Bion: His Life and Works 1897–1979, trans C. Pajaczkowska. London: Free Association Books. Darwin, C. (1859) The Origin of Species. London: John Murray. Eigen, M. (1998) The Psychoanalytic Mystic. New York: ESF. H. (1959a) Young Man Luther. London: Faber and Faber. H. (1959b) Identity and the Life Cycle.

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