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The Religious and Romantic Origins of Psychoanalysis

The Religious and Romantic Origins of Psychoanalysis
Individuation and Integration in Post-Freudian Theory


Part of Cambridge Cultural Social Studies

  • Date Published: March 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521555609


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About the Authors
  • In this book, Suzanne Kirschner traces the origins of contemporary psychoanalysis back to the foundations of Judaeo-Christian culture, and challenges the prevailing view that modern theories of the self mark a radical break with religious and cultural tradition. Instead, she argues, they offer an account of human development which has its beginnings in biblical theology and neoplatonic mysticism. Drawing on a wide range of religious, literary, philosophical and anthropological sources, Dr Kirschner demonstrates that current Anglo-American psychoanalytic theories are but the latest version of a narrative that has been progressively secularized over the course of nearly two millennia. She displays a deep understanding of psychoanalytic theories, while at the same time raising provocative questions about their status as knowledge and as science.

    • Most detailed attempt yet to trace the religious sources of any theory of human development
    • Focuses on most contemporary and influential theories of psychoanalysis (not on classical Freudianism)
    • Neither idealises nor attempts to debunk psychoanalysis - most other books try to do one or the other
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521555609
    • length: 254 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Toward a cultural genealogy of psychoanalytic developmental psychology
    2. The assenting ego: Anglo-American values in contemporary psychoanalytic developmental psychology
    3. The developmental narrative: the design of psychological history
    4. Theological sources of the idea of development
    5. The Christian mystical narrative: Neoplatonism and Christian mysticism
    6. Jacob Boehme: towards worldly mysticism
    7. Romantic thought: from worldly mysticism to natural supernaturalism
    8. Personal supernaturalism: the cultural genealogy of the psychoanalytic developmental narrative

  • Author

    Suzanne R. Kirschner, Harvard University, Massachusetts

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