Terror and Transformation: The Ambiguity of Religion in Psychoanalytic Perspective
Religion has been responsible for both horrific acts against humanity and some of humanity's most sublime teachings and experiences. How is this possible? From a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective, this book seeks to answer that question in terms of the psychological dynamic of idealisation.
At the heart of living religion is the idealisation of everyday objects. Such idealisations provide much of the transforming power of religious experience, which is one of the positive contributions of religion to the psychological life. However, idealisation can also lead to religious fanaticism which can be very destructive. Drawing on the work of various contemporary relational theorists within psychoanalysis, this book develops a psychoanalytically informed theory of the transforming and terror-producing effects of religious experience. It discusses the question of whether or not, if idealisation is the cause of many of the destructive acts done in the name of religion, there can be vital religion without idealisation.
This is the first book to address the nature of religion and its capacity to sponsor both terrorism and transformation in terms of contemporary relational psychoanalytic theory. It will be invaluable to students and practitioners of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychology and religious studies, and to others interested in the role of religion in the lives of individuals and societies.
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adult analysis authoritarian Bollas Buddhism calls capacity chapter child claims cloud of unknowing collective effervescence connection consciousness contemporary cosmic narcissism creative culture de-idealization dependency described developmental dichotomy discussion divine domain drive dynamic of idealization dynamic unconscious ecstasy Emmanuel Ghent ence encounter evoke example Fairbairn father feeling Freud Fromm Hans Loewald holy human experience illusion individual infant infantile Jung knowing Kohut living mature meaning mental mentation moral defense mother mystical narcissistic nature negativa object hunger objects of idealization Oedipal complex one's oneself Otto's parents Pentecostal person perspective practice primary narcissism primary process profane psychological psychology of religion rationality realistic reality relational relational psychoanalysis relationship religion without idealization religious beliefs religious experience religious fanaticism ritual romantic love sacred self-structure selfhood selfobject functions sense simply social society Sogyal Rinpoche spiritual splitting Stanley structures surrender Tibetan Tibetan Buddhism tion tradition transcend transformational object transitional via negativa writes
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