Browse results

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?
In Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism, W. Paul Williamson takes a critical look at the sociohistorical emergence of fundamentalism and examines how historians constructed popular, though questionable, conceptions of the movement that have dominated decades of empirical research in psychology. He further analyzes the notions of militancy and anti-modernity as valid characterizations of fundamentalism and examines whether fundamentalism, as a Christian Protestant phenomenon, is useful in labelling global forms of religious extremism and violence. In observing the lack of theory-driven research, the book offers theories that situate fundamentalism as a social psychological phenomenon as opposed to some personal predisposition. Students and scholars of fundamentalism will discover Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism to be a provocative study on the topic.
Author: Barbara Keller
Psychoanalytic and Psychometric Perspectives on Religion suggests to combine perspectives from psychoanalysis and academic psychology, from nomothetic and idiothetic research, for more depth of vision for the current psychology of religion. In this interdisciplinary study, Barbara Keller demonstrates the potential of integrative perspectives by analysing topics such as religious development, religion and personality, and the process of working with religious issues in psychotherapy. Options for the study of lived “religion” are discussed, taking into consideration North American and European contexts of religious experience and of psychological and psychoanalytic discussion.
Author: Barbara Keller

Abstract

Current psychology of religion relies mostly on quantitative psychometric approaches for the description, explanation, or prediction of religious experience and behavior, risking narrow reifications of operational definitions and neglect of individual experience. Psychoanalytic concepts are rarely addressed, due to being seen as lacking a scientific foundation, such as hypothesis testing based on large samples. Psychoanalysts have been slow to discuss religion without suspicion of pathology. Recently, psychoanalysts have broadened their empirical work and a “narrative turn” is discernible in developmental and personality psychology, allowing the inclusion of subjective perspectives. Drawing on these developments a rapprochement of psychodynamic and psychometric approaches is suggested to gain more depth of vision. Examples are given for the areas of development, personality, and psychotherapy.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Psychology
A Practical Review of Research and Application
In Terror Management Theory: A Practical Review of Research and Application, Robert B. Arrowood and Cathy R. Cox discuss relevant research from an experimental, existential psychology tradition. Outlining the past thirty years of research within terror management, the authors discuss such topics as religion, close relations, politics and law, existential growth, and physical and mental health.

Although the inevitable outcome of all humanity is death, according to terror management theory, we adhere to cultural worldviews and establish close relations in order to boost our self-esteem. Through these defences, we deny our death and attain a degree of immortality, staving off existential fear by being part of an enduring cultural system that will outlive any individual member.
Author: Erik Goodwyn

Abstract

The question of whether or not archetypes are transmitted biologically or culturally is wrongly posed and has hampered progress in Jungian thought regarding archetype theory. Considerations regarding psychological development show that some contents of the human psyche are, strictly speaking, neither biologically nor culturally derived. Examples are given, and the question becomes, How does this fact affect archetype theory? The present essay examines this question in depth.

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies

Abstract

From the perspective of terror management theory (TMT), the awareness of death is problematic as it has the potential to increase anxiety. It would be hard to function when faced with this fear; thus, people defend themselves from heightened mortality awareness by adhering to their cultural beliefs (e.g., religion, nationalism), having positive self-views (i.e., self-esteem), and/or turning toward their relationships with close others. The purpose of the current volume is to introduce readers to the field of experimental existential psychology (broadly) and TMT (specifically). To do this, Section 1 will provide an introduction to the field, along with discussing methodological considerations when conducting terror management research. Section 2 was written to discuss some of the applied implications of TMT as it is relates to close relationships, religion, politics and law, positivity, and existential growth. Much work from a terror management tradition has been interested in how death concerns affect physical and psychological health. Because of this, Section 3 will introduce two variations of TMT (i.e., Terror Management Health Model [TMHM] & Anxiety-buffer Disruption Theory [ABDT]), with implications for individuals’ well-being. Finally, Section 4 will discuss alternative perspectives and controversies within the field. Throughout this volume, we provide a discussion on potential avenues of future study.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Psychology

Abstract

From the perspective of terror management theory (TMT), the awareness of death is problematic as it has the potential to increase anxiety. It would be hard to function when faced with this fear; thus, people defend themselves from heightened mortality awareness by adhering to their cultural beliefs (e.g., religion, nationalism), having positive self-views (i.e., self-esteem), and/or turning toward their relationships with close others. The purpose of the current volume is to introduce readers to the field of experimental existential psychology (broadly) and TMT (specifically). To do this, Section 1 will provide an introduction to the field, along with discussing methodological considerations when conducting terror management research. Section 2 was written to discuss some of the applied implications of TMT as it is relates to close relationships, religion, politics and law, positivity, and existential growth. Much work from a terror management tradition has been interested in how death concerns affect physical and psychological health. Because of this, Section 3 will introduce two variations of TMT (i.e., Terror Management Health Model [TMHM] & Anxiety-buffer Disruption Theory [ABDT]), with implications for individuals’ well-being. Finally, Section 4 will discuss alternative perspectives and controversies within the field. Throughout this volume, we provide a discussion on potential avenues of future study.

In: Terror Management Theory
Author: Eberhard Riedel

Abstract

Humanizing the devastating emotional forces released by the worldwide plague of collective violence and trauma demands developing integral awareness. This article develops an ecological perspective that views human communities as ecosystems and individuals as embedded in these environments. This perspective offers a space large enough to generate fresh ideas. The process evolved under the press of fieldwork in crisis areas in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. To explore psychosocial and political characteristics of human ecosystems Riedel employs a biaxial map, the Mandala of the Five Worlds. The map brings into purview in dynamic mandala format the Familial and Societal Worlds on the horizontal axis, the worlds of Nature and Mind on the vertical axis, and the Rhizome World at the core. Riedel views the rhizome world as a container and co-created field of human inheritances and codes, natural-physical and socio-cultural. The rhizome plays a central role in the resonance and synergistic phenomena interrelating elements of the five spheres. Community self-states are collective aggregates that involve elements from all five spheres of the mandala. Riedel explores patterns of dynamic forces of aggregation and evolution that determine a group’s connectivity and tendencies. For example, in community states of collective violence and trauma at extreme levels of severity, the socio-cultural and nature-mind dimensions of the map are “unhinged,” resulting in nature-nurture and humane-ethical considerations being split off from social behaviour with fractionizing fields dominating. Via emotional resonance, purposeful action interventions seek to loosen adhesion to the collectivity of suffering through which people are connected to the social traumas of their groups, past and present. Thus the rhizomic systems approach raises awareness about the dynamic of cultural seizures as major sources of sociocultural difficulties.

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies
Author: Megumi Yama

Abstract

When Jung received the manuscript of the Taoist-alchemical treatise entitled The Secret of the Golden Flower from Richard Wilhelm he realized what his drawings of mandalas meant and received confirmation of his theories about the Self. At the same time, Jung realized that he had encountered ‘the East’ within, as he was digging into the depths of his own psyche. Today, thanks to the publication of The Red Book (RB) and Memories, Dreams, Reflections (MDR), we can understand that through that process, Jung held dialogues with the dead. This is considered to mean that he had contact with the world of death to reach another culture—the East. Yama argues that the indeterminate state between the determinate culture and another is chaotic and uncertain, a space which may possibly lead to the world of death. Nowadays, amongst rapid globalization, many people from diverse backgrounds have opportunities to encounter different cultures for various reasons, sometimes out of interest and sometimes out of necessity. In some cases, but not all, individuals simply step across into the other culture without the experience of ‘descending into the depth,’ as Jung had. Yama explores Jung’s inner journey and his childhood memories from the view of what was taking place while he was moving symbolically from the West to the East. For further exploration of the life of someone who is destined to live between different cultures, Yama introduces a Japanese old folk tale and presents clinical material, as well as her personal experience as one who spent her adolescence outside of her native culture.

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies