The concept of secularization has grown to become one of the most important features of contemporary religious thought. This book introduces and examines the thinking of sixteen key theologions, philosophers and historians of religion to explain (a) why by the late nineteenth century the traditional concept of God as an ontologically real being came to be considered no longer necessary and (b) how the new perspective on God, which accepts him only as an idea, turned into the preferred approach of today’s religion and philosophy, namely “religious radicalism”.
Early Psychoanalytic Religious Writings presents, in one edited volume, many of the foundational writings in the psychoanalytic study of religion. These translated works by Abraham, Fromm, Pfister, and others, complement Freud’s seminal contributions and provide a unique window into the origins of psychoanalytic thinking. The volume includes the Freud-Pfister correspondence, with a brief introduction, which reveals the rich back story of friendship, mutual respect, and intellectual debate. These essays are anchored in Freud’s early theory-building and prefigure and are linked to later developments in psychoanalytic thought. The issues raised in these essays are of relevance still today – how is religions thinking shaped by unconscious processes reflecting primary relationships and drives?