Insanity and Divinity: Studies in Psychosis and Spirituality (Paperback) book cover

Insanity and Divinity

Studies in Psychosis and Spirituality

Edited by John Gale, Michael Robson, Georgia Rapsomatioti

© 2014 – Routledge

260 pages

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Paperback: 9780415608626
pub: 2013-07-08
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Description

How close is spirituality to psychosis?

Covering the interrelation of psychosis and spirituality from a number of angles, Insanity and Divinity will generate dialogue and discussion, aid critical reflection and stimulate creative approaches to clinical work for those interested in the connections between religious studies, psychoanalysis, anthropology and hagiography.

Bringing together an international range of contributors and covering many different types of religious experience, this book presents its theme in three parts:

Psychoanalysis, belief and mysticism

Anthropology, history and hagiography

Psychology, psychosis and religious experience.

Each section includes discussion of the hinterland between madness and religious experience from the perspective of a number of religions, autobiographical accounts of those who have experienced a psychosis in which spirituality played a key part and a comprehensive review of the position of psychology research into the meaning and function of spirituality in relation to the psychoses.

Insightful, enlightening and wide-ranging, Insanity and Divinity is ideal for clinicians, academics and chaplains working in clinical settings.

Reviews

"…[T]he greatest strength of the book is its multiplicity of perspectives on the topic. In particular, several chapters mine the riches of psychoanalytic literature in good depth, highlighting insights to the uninitiated that speak to the opaque lines that distinguish spirituality and insanity. Included in this discussion are authors who dismiss the significance of religious belief and experience in psychosis (e.g., Freud) as well as those who affirm it and lay the groundwork for future discussions to take place (e.g., Lacan)."David C. Wang & Annette Chan, PsycCRITIQUES

Table of Contents

Dedication. Contents. Editor’s Biographies. Editors and Contributors. Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. Part 1: Psychoanalysis, Belief and Mysticism. Gale, Fragments of Madness and Delusion. Gale, From Beyond Speech to Non-inscription – Sprirt and Psyche in the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis. Mannu, Freud Madness and the Delusion of Religious Belief. Mackenna, Jung’s Divine Madness. Part 2: Anthropology, History and Hagiography. Gale, Conversion and the Fragmented Body. Cantlie, Divine Madness: Tantris Ascetics on the Cremation Ground in Tarapith, Birbhum District, West Bengal.Robson, Models of Wisdom and Sanctity: The Conversion of Saint Francis of Assisi. Reddy, Spiritual Conversion in the Bhagavad-Gita. Gale, Did Augustine Foreshadow Psychoanalysis?Bomford, Mystical Theology, Mysticism and Madness. Part 3: Psychology, Psychosis and Religious Experience. Gale, Religion, Spirituality and the Experience of Psychosis. Rapsomatioti, Spirituality and the Psychotic Subject in the Thought of Lacan. Autobiographical Accounts of a Religious Psychosis.Unterrainer, Dimensions of Religious/Spiritual Well-being and the Psychotic Experience: Empirical Results and Perspectives. Appendix. Glossary of Lacanian Terms.

About the Editors

John Gale is a former Benedictine monk who later trained as a psychotherapist and is now CEO of the charity Community Housing and Therapy. He is particularly interested in the interface between philosophy, spirituality and psychoanalysis.

Michael Robson is the Director of Studies in Divinity at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. He is the author of a number of books and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Francis of Assisi.

Georgia Rapsomatioti is a community mental health advocate who previously worked at Community Housing and Therapy as deputy manager at Lexham House and senior therapist at Highams Lodge. She has an interest in Lacanian psychoanalysis, trauma and psychosis.

About the Series

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis Book Series

ISPS (The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) has a history stretching back more than five decades, during which it has witnessed the relentless pursuit of biological explanations for psychosis. This tide has been turning in recent years and there is growing international interest in a range of psychological, social and cultural factors that have considerable explanatory traction and distinct therapeutic possibilities. Governments, professional groups, people with personal experience of psychosis and family members are increasingly exploring interventions that involve more talking and listening. Many now regard practitioners skilled in psychological therapies as an essential component of the care of people with psychosis.

A global society active in at least twenty countries, ISPS is composed of a diverse range of individuals, networks and institutional members. Key to its ethos is that individuals with personal experience of psychosis, and their families and friends, are fully involved alongside practitioners and researchers, and that all benefit from this collaboration.

ISPS’s core aim is to promote psychological and social approaches to understanding and treating psychosis. Recognising the humanitarian and therapeutic potential of these perspectives, ISPS embraces a wide spectrum of therapeutic approaches from psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive, and arts therapies, to need-adapted and dialogical approaches, family and group therapies and residential therapeutic communities. A further ambition is to draw together diverse viewpoints on psychosis and to foster discussion and debate across the biomedical and social sciences, including establishing meaningful dialogue with practitioners and researchers who are more familiar with biological-based approaches. Such discussion is now increasingly supported by empirical evidence of the interaction of genes and biology with the emotional and social environment especially in the fields of trauma, attachment, social relationships and therapy.

Ways in which ISPS pursues its aims include international and national conferences, real and virtual networks, and publication of the journal Psychosis. The book series is intended to complement these activities by providing a resource for those wanting to consider aspects of psychosis in detail. It now also includes a monograph strand primarily targeted at academics. Central to both strands is the combination of rigorous, in-depth intellectual content and accessibility to a wide range of readers. We aim for the series to be a resource for mental health professionals of all disciplines, for those developing and implementing policy, for academics in the social and clinical sciences, and for people whose interest in psychosis stems from personal or family experience. We hope that the book series will help challenge excessively biological ways of conceptualising and treating psychosis through the dissemination of existing knowledge and ideas and by fostering new interdisciplinary dialogues and perspectives.

For more information about ISPS, email isps@isps.org or visit our website, www.isps.org.  

For more information about the journal Psychosis visit  www.isps.org/index.php/publications/journal.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI015000
PHILOSOPHY / Mind & Body
PSY022050
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Schizophrenia
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSY028000
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General