"Freud and Freudians on Religion" by Donald Capps

Freud and Freudians on Religion A Reader Donald Capps

Publication date:
10 Apr 2001
Yale University Press
366 pages: 229 x 152mm
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This book presents selections from Freud’s writings on religion and from the work of five  more recent contributors to the psychoanalytic study of religion: David Bakan, Erik H. Erikson, Heinz Kohut, Julia Kristeva, and D.W. Winnicott. It is the first collection of texts in the psychology of religion that is oriented more toward religious studies than toward the study of psychology.
In his introduction, Donald Capps points out that psychoanalysis resembles religions in the way in which its founding documents (Freud’s own writings) have been closely read, have evoked interpretive battles, and have been reassessed and reapplied in response to changing social and cultural circumstances. He notes that just as Freud’s writings on religion focus on the biblical text, the majority of the authors included here do likewise, showing how the Bible may be read psychoanalytically. Both Freud and his successors, says Capps, also reflect the high value that the Christian culture of the West has placed on painting and sculpture, revealing the importance of perception and imagination to the psychoanalytic study of religion. Capps highlights the ways in which all the Freudians work intertextually with Freud’s writings, with the writings of other authors included in the book, and with other writings of their own.

"This reader of works by Freud and the post-Freudians on religion is valuable text for courses. There is nothing like it currently available."?James W. Jones, author of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion     

"In this creative selection of writings, Capps shows how Freud's powerful ideas about religion continue to provoke creative thought and revision more than seventy years later."?John McDargh, Boston College

?[A]n exciting, longitudinal account of how the Freudians have handled the religious question, beginning with Freud himself and the including selections by Erik Erikson, D. W. Winnicott, Heinz Kohut, and ending with French psychoanalytic critic Julia Kristeva.??Alistair Highet, Hartford Advocate

?An illuminating collection of readings, ideal for classroom use.??Diane Jonte-Pace, Religious Studies Review

"Impressive on a number of levels, worthy of its berth in Freud's own house. It serves, first of all, as what should become a standard text in any introductory course on the psychology of religion. It also could be considered one of the best initial exposures for the intelligent general reader to psychoanalytic theorists' unwavering fascination with religious?particularly Judeo-Christian history, artwork, and scriptures. . . . Capps, in Freud and Freudians, honors his forebears, and allows the readers to reap rewards of their labors."?Robert C. Dykstra, Princeton Seminary Bulletin