Religion clearly remains a powerful social and political force in Western society. Freudian-based theory continues to inform psychoanalytic investigations into personality development, gender relations, and traumatic disorders. Using a historical framework, this collection of new essays brings together contemporary scholarship on religion and psychoanalysis. These various yet related psychoanalytic interpretations of religious symbolism and commitment offer a unique social analysis on the meaning of religion.Beginning with Freud's views on religion and mystical experience and continuing with those of Horney, Winnicott, Kristeva, Miller, and others, this volume surveys the work of three generations of psychoanalytic theorists. Special attention is given to objects relations theory and ego psychology, as well as to the recent work from the European tradition. Distinguished contributors provide a basic overview of a given theorist's scholarship and discuss its place in the evolution of psychoanalytic thought as it relates to the role that religion plays in modern culture.Religion, Society, and Psychoanalysis marks a major, interdisciplinary step forward in filling the void in the social-psychology of religion. It is an extremely useful handbook for students and scholars of psychology and religion.
Introduction -- Freud -- Freud and Hasidism -- Freud, Maimonides, and Incest -- Freud as Other -- Psychoanalysis and Fundamentalism -- Psychoanalysis and the Second-Generation Theorists -- Karen Horney’s Encounter with Zen -- Melanie Klein, Motherhood, and the “Heart of the Heart of Darkness” -- Playing and Believing -- Childhood Fears, Adult Anxieties, and the Longing for Inner Peace -- Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspectives -- Heinz Kohut’s Struggles with Religion, Ethnicity, and God -- Creating a New Research Paradigm for the Psychoanalytic Study of Religion -- Alice Miller’s Insights into Religious Seekership -- Illusions with Futures: Jacques Lacan -- God and Lacanian Psychoanalysis -- Julia Kristeva and the Psychoanalytic Study of Religion: Rethinking Freud’s Cultural Texts