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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Hardback: 9780415608619
pub: 2013-07-10
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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

ISPS (The International Society for 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 has been turning in recent years and there is a welcome international resurgence of interest in a range of psychological factors that have considerable explanatory power and therapeutic possibilities. Governments, professional groups, people with personal experience of psychosis and family members are increasingly expecting 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.

ISPS is a global society. It aims to promote psychological and social approaches both to understanding and to treating psychosis. It also aims to bring together different perspectives on these issues. ISPS is composed of individuals, networks and institutional members from a wide range of backgrounds and is especially concerned that those with personal experience of psychosis and their family members are fully involved in our activities alongside practitioners and researchers, and that all benefit from this. Our members recognise the potential humanitarian and therapeutic potential of skilled psychological understanding and therapy in the field of psychosis. ISPS embraces a wide spectrum of approaches from psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive, and arts therapies to need-adapted and dialogical approaches, family and group therapies and residential therapeutic communities.

We are also most interested in establishing meaningful dialogue with those practitioners and researchers who are more familiar with biological-based approaches. There is increasing empirical evidence for the interaction of genes and biology with the emotional and social environment, and there are important examples of the impact of life experiences in the fields of trauma, attachment, social relationships and therapy.

ISPS activities include regular international and national conferences, newsletters and email discussion groups. Routledge has recognised the importance of our field in publishing both the book series and the ISPS journal: Psychosis - Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches with the two complementing one another. The series started in 2004 and by 2015 it contained 19 books and 2 monographs, with further publications in preparation. A wide range of topics are covered and we hope this reflects some success in our aim of bringing together a rich range of perspectives.

The book series is intended as a resource for a broad range of mental health professionals, as well as those developing and implementing policy and people whose interest in psychosis is at a personal level. We aim for rigorous academic standards and at the same time accessibility to a wide range of readers, and for the books to promote the ideas of clinicians and researchers who may be well known in some countries, but not so familiar in others. Our overall intention is to encourage the dissemination of existing knowledge and ideas, promote productive debate, and encourage more research in a most important field whose secrets certainly do not all reside in the neurosciences.

This series also includes a monograph strand, which consists of high-level academic texts aimed at researchers, academics and postgraduate students. Within the monograph strand the focus tends to be somewhat more conceptual, and less directly clinical, than in the main strand.

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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