Religion and Psychoanalytic Thought

Psychology is an attempt to understand the meaning of human behaviour which focuses upon there being an influential unconscious as well as a conscious side to the personality. Directly and indirectly, it has come to play an influential role in modern life. Words like 'Oedipus complex', 'introverted', 'neurotic', 'obsessional', are in fairly common use, often with little clear understanding of their meaning. Psychoanalysts have had a major impact upon our ideas of what it is to be a person. They have also provided key elements in the criticism frequently levelled at religion that it is nothing but the comforting projection of personal and social problems into another and illusory world. We shall be examining these issues in detail. To this end, we shall study selected texts by Freud and other texts which may vary from year to year, but will be drawn from the work of such thinkers as Jung, Nietzsche, Bataille, Lacan, Kristeva, de Certeau and Foucault.

Select bibliography:

Freud, S., The Interpretation of Dreams
Capps, D., Freud and Freudians on Religion
DiCenso, J., The Other Freud: Religion, Culture and Psychoanalysis
Taylor, Mark C., Altarity