Mental God-representation reconsidered: Probing collective representation of cultural symbol

in Archive for the Psychology of Religion
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Abstract

The current methods in psychoanalytic studies of God images and representations have focused almost exclusively on individual, internal processes. This article examines how psychological anthropologists go about formulating symbolic representations of deity in their research, in comparison with the object relations method of God-representations. Drawing on Melford Spiro's integrative proposal for interpreting the mental and collective representations in religious symbol systems, this paper proposes that there is a need for a comprehensive model of the representational process in the Eastern world in order to suit its cultural traditions. The author uses both theoretical and historical materials as well as personal narrative throughout its entirety to balance the two in a mutual and coherent flow of understanding. Noting the culturally patterned interactions with culturally postulated God-symbols, the object relations method of God-representations will be utilized to probe how God is both created and found on a collective (cultural) level as well as individual level.

Mental God-representation reconsidered: Probing collective representation of cultural symbol

in Archive for the Psychology of Religion

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