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: 2013-07-07
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Hardback: 9780415608619
pub: 2013-07-09
US Dollars$200.00
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About the Book

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

The ISPS (the International Society for the Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) has a history stretching back more than fifty years during which it has witnessed the relentless pursuit of biological explanations for psychosis. The tide is now turning again. There is a welcome international resurgence of interest in a range of psychological factors in psychosis that have considerable explanatory power and also distinct therapeutic possibilities. Governments, professional groups, users and carers are increasingly expecting interventions that involve more talking and listening. Many now regard skilled practitioners in the main psychotherapeutic modalities as important components of the care of the seriously mentally ill.

The ISPS is a global society. It is composed of an increasing number of groups of professionals, family members, those with vulnerability to psychosis and others, who are organised at national, regional and more local levels around the world. Such persons recognise the potential humanitarian and therapeutic potential of skilled psychological understanding and therapy in the field of psychosis. Our members cover a wide spectrum of approaches from psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive, and arts therapies to the need-adaptive approaches, group therapies and therapeutic institutions. We are most interested in establishing meaningful dialogue with those practitioners and researchers who are more familiar with biological based approaches. Our activities include regular international and national conferences, newsletters and email discussion groups in many countries across the world.

One of our activities is in the field of publication. Routledge have recognised the importance of our field, publishing Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches. The journal complements Routledge's publishing of the ISPS book series which started in 2004. The books aim to cover many topics within the spectrum of the psychological therapies of psychosis and their application in a variety of settings. The series is intended to inform and further educate a wide range of mental health professionals as well as those developing and implementing policy.

Some of the books will be controversial and certainly our aim is to develop and change current practice in some countries. Other books will also promote the ideas of clinicians and researchers well known in some countries but not familiar to others. Our overall intention is to encourage the dissemination of existing knowledge and ideas, promote healthy debate, and encourage more research in a most important field whose secrets almost certainly do not all reside in the neurosciences.

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Subject Categories

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